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Too Much of a Good Thing? Welfare Consequences of Market Transparency

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This paper studies welfare consequences of consumer-side market transparency with endogenous entry of firms. Different from most studies, we consider the unique symmetric entry equilibrium, which is in mixed strategies. We identify two effects of market transparency on welfare: a competition effect and a novel market-structure effect. We show, surprisingly, that for almost all demand functions the negative market-structure effect eventually dominates the positive competition effect as the market becomes increasingly transparent. Consumer-side market transparency can therefore be socially excessive even without collusion. The only exception among commonly used demand functions is the set of constant demand functions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2014

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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