UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Professor Pedro Gardete, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Multiattribute Search: Empirical Evidence and Information Design’.
The search literature has relied on parsimonious models to recover consumer fundamentals and characterize market outcomes. We investigate simple online search patterns that suggest that the dualistic view of fixed sample vs. sequential search modes is the likely result of coarse data combined with methodological convenience. In contrast with these paradigms, we find consumers are selective about the product attributes they inspect, they revisit items to acquire additional information, and often convert without collecting all available data about the selected alternatives.
Our substantive motivation is the problem of providing information to consumers in a market with differentiated products. We propose a new model of gradual consumer search based on simulated beliefs that allows us to characterize the full search problem. In contrast with the existing literature, we find that the seller’s incentives to engage in search design activities tend to match the consumers’