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This paper presents the results of an empirical study of price dispersion in homogeneous goods markets. Modern economic theory suggests that inevitable asymmetries of information in markets lead to an equilibrium in which price dispersion is present even when goods are perfectly homogenous. In this paper we present an empirical analysis in which we employ both cross-sectional and time-series data gathered directly from Pricegrabber.com, one of the most popular and comprehensive online shopping/price-comparison sites on the Internet. In particular our analysis focuses on (i) the effect that the number of firms offering a good has on price dispersion, (ii) the informational value to the consumer of using the Pricegrabber website, and (iii) the persistency of price dispersion over time.

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Thierry Warin

Daniel B. Leiter

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