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Review of Network Economics

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Bias and Size Effects of Price-Comparison Platforms: Theory and Experimental Evidence

Aurora García-Gallego
  • Corresponding author
  • LEE and Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Av. Sos Baynat s/n, 12006-Castellón, Spain
  • Email:
/ Nikolaos Georgantzís
  • School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading (UK) and LEE and Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain
/ Pedro Pereira
  • Autoridade da Concorrência and CEFAGE-UE, Portugal
/ José C. Pernías-Cerrillo
  • Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain
Published Online: 2017-03-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rne-2016-0015


We analyze the impact on consumer prices of some information characteristics of price-comparison search platforms. An equilibrium model where vendors compete in prices and consumers do not observe prices, but can obtain price information through a search platform, is developed. The model generates several predictions about the impact on the price distribution of: (i) the size of the search platform’s sample, (ii) whether the search platform’s sample is random, and (iii) the number of vendors in the market. The model’s predictions are tested experimentally. The results confirm the predictions about (ii) and (iii), but reject the model’s predictions about (i).

Keywords: experiments; incomplete information; price competition; search platforms; selective information

JEL Classification: C91; D43; D83; L13


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About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Aurora García-Gallego, LEE and Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Av. Sos Baynat s/n, 12006-Castellón, Spain, Phone: +34-964387631

Published Online: 2017-03-03

Citation Information: Review of Network Economics, ISSN (Online) 1446-9022, ISSN (Print) 2194-5993, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rne-2016-0015. Export Citation

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