Competitive Information Disclosure in Search Markets
Buyers often search across sellers to learn which product best fits their needs. We study how sellers manage these search incentives through their disclosure strategies (e.g., product trials, reviews, and recommendations) and ask how competition affects information provision. If sellers can observe the beliefs of buyers or can coordinate their strategies, then there is an equilibrium in which sellers provide the “monopoly level” of information. In contrast, if buyers’ beliefs are private, then there is an equilibrium in which sellers provide full information as search costs vanish. Anonymity and coordination thus play important roles in understanding how advice markets work.
Competitive Information Disclosure in Search Markets (Board & Lu)