How does online price disclosure affect competition when both consumers and firms can use the disclosed information? This paper addresses this question exploiting the sequential implementation of an online price-disclosure policy in the Chilean retail gasoline industry. The results show that disclosure increased margins by 9 percent on average, though the effects varied across the country depending on the intensity of local search behavior. Because margins increased the least, and even decreased, in high-search areas, where income is also higher, the results also show that price disclosure policies may have important distributional effects.
"Who Benefits from Information Disclosure? The Case of Retail Gasoline."
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,
Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices