Optimal Product Placement

Optimal Product Placement We model a market, such as an online software market, in which an intermediary connects sellers and buyers by displaying sellers’ products. With two vertically-differentiated products, an intermediary can place either: (1) one product, not necessarily the better one, on the first page, and the other hidden on the second page; or (2) both products on the first page. We show that it can be optimal for the intermediary to obfuscate a product—possibly the better one—since this weakens price competition and allows the sellers to extract a greater surplus from buyers; however, it is not socially optimal. The choice of which one to obfuscate depends on the distribution of search costs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals
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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by The Author(s)
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-017-9575-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We model a market, such as an online software market, in which an intermediary connects sellers and buyers by displaying sellers’ products. With two vertically-differentiated products, an intermediary can place either: (1) one product, not necessarily the better one, on the first page, and the other hidden on the second page; or (2) both products on the first page. We show that it can be optimal for the intermediary to obfuscate a product—possibly the better one—since this weakens price competition and allows the sellers to extract a greater surplus from buyers; however, it is not socially optimal. The choice of which one to obfuscate depends on the distribution of search costs.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 22, 2017

References

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