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Discussion Paper

Search, Information, and Prices

Consider a market with identical firms offering a homogeneous good. A consumer obtains price quotes from a subset of firms and buys from the firm offering the lowest price. The “price count” is the number of firms from which the consumer obtains a quote. For any given ex ante distribution of the price count, we derive a tight upper bound (under first-order stochastic dominance) on the equilibrium distribution of sales prices.