As demonstrated by Klemperer (1987), if households face a cost of switching among brands of a differentiated good, pricing is likely to be more competitive, the greater is the fraction of customers that move into or around the market. I generalize this theory to a world with arbitrary market structure and test it empirically using panel data on bank retail deposit interest rates. I find that the amount of household migration in a market has a significant competitive influence on price markups, that is, a positive effect on the level of deposit interest rates. Consistent with the model, the magnitude of this effect depends in some cases upon the degree of market concentration.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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