Quotation Gugler, Klaus, Heim, Sven, Janssen, Maarten, Liebensteiner, Mario. 2018. Market Liberalization: Price Dispersion, Price Discrimination and Consumer Search in German Electricity Markets. EARIE 2018, Athen, Griechenland, 31.08. - 02.09.2018.


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Abstract

How does the eect of market liberalization depend on consumer search? We an- swer this question by studying the German electricity retail market as an example. We rst construct a simple theoretical model where an incumbent can price dis- criminate between searching and loyal consumers and consumers with idiosyncratic search costs have to decide whether or not to search after observing the baseline price of the incumbent. One result is that if there are relatively more consumers with very low search cost, price dispersion and price discrimination increase with the share of searching consumers. Using a unique panel dataset on spatially varying search queries at major online price comparison websites for the period 2011{2014 we empirically show that local incumbents increase their baseline rate while en- trants decrease their taris as a reaction to more consumer search. Moreover, the incumbent increasingly price discriminates and sets its cheapest tari much lower in reaction to consumer search. Price discrimination allows the incumbent to segment markets according to search intensity, and to simultaneously follow surplus appro- priation for consumers in the non-competitive segment as well as business stealing strategies for consumers in the competitive segment.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Market Liberalization: Price Dispersion, Price Discrimination and Consumer Search in German Electricity Markets
Event EARIE 2018
Year 2018
Date 31.08. - 02.09.2018
Country Greece
Location Athen
URL http://www.earie2018.org/

Associations

People
Gugler, Klaus (Details)
External
Heim, Sven (MINES ParisTech, CERNA, France)
Janssen, Maarten (University of Vienna, Austria)
Liebensteiner, Mario (University of Kaiserslautern, Germany)
Organization
Research Institute for Regulatory Economics FI (Details)
Institute for Quantitative Economics IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5370 Industrial economics (Details)
5372 Regulatory economics (Details)
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