Self-Preferencing at Amazon: Evidence from Search Rankings

9 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2023 Last revised: 1 Jun 2023

See all articles by Chiara Farronato

Chiara Farronato

Harvard University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrey Fradkin

Boston University

Alexander MacKay

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2023

Abstract

We study whether Amazon engages in self-preferencing on its marketplace by favoring its own brands (e.g., Amazon Basics) in search. To address this question, we collect new micro-level consumer search data using a custom browser extension installed by a panel of study participants. Using this methodology, we observe search positions, search behavior, and product characteristics. We find that Amazon branded products are indeed ranked higher than observably similar products in consumer search results. The prominence given to Amazon brands is 30% to 60% of the prominence granted to sponsored products.

Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.

Suggested Citation

Farronato, Chiara and Fradkin, Andrey and MacKay, Alexander, Self-Preferencing at Amazon: Evidence from Search Rankings (January 2023). NBER Working Paper No. w30894, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4342393

Chiara Farronato (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrey Fradkin

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Alexander MacKay

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://alexandermackay.org/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
19
Abstract Views
393
PlumX Metrics