Price Search Across Time and Across Stores

53 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2019

See all articles by Navid Mojir

Navid Mojir

Harvard Business School

K. Sudhir

Yale School of Management; Yale University-Department of Economics; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Date Written: July 8, 2019


In response to price dispersion across stores and price promotions over time, consumers search across both stores and time, in many retail settings. Yet there is no search model in extant research that jointly endogenizes search in both dimensions. We develop a model of search across stores and across time that nests a nite horizon model of search across stores within an in nite horizon model of inter-temporal search. The model is estimated using an iterative procedure that formulates it as a mathematical program with equilibrium constraints (MPEC) embedded within an E-M algorithm to allow estimation of latent class heterogeneity. The empirical analysis uses data on household store visits and purchases in the milk category. In contrast to extant research, we nd that omitting the temporal dimension underestimates price elasticity. We attribute this difference to the relative frequency of household stockouts and purchase frequency in the milk category. Interestingly, we nd that for a given mean and variance in price, increasing the frequency while reducing depth of price promotions across all stores can increase share of visits and pro ts for consumers’ preferred store for the segment with high price sensitivity and low cross-store search cost; consumers who are most prone to search across stores and across time.

Keywords: Consumer Search, Price Search, Store search, Spatial search, Temporal search, Spatiotemporal Search, Dynamic Structural Models, MPEC

JEL Classification: L81, M31, D12

Suggested Citation

Mojir, Navid and Sudhir, K., Price Search Across Time and Across Stores (July 8, 2019). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1492R, July 2019; Yale ICF Working Paper No. 2019-14. Available at SSRN: or

Navid Mojir

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

K. Sudhir (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
203-432-3289 (Phone)
203-432-3003 (Fax)

Yale University-Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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