Information is crucial to make good decisions, but obtaining and providing information often comes at a cost. Consumers and firms both need to balance these costs and benefits of obtaining and providing information in order to make the best decisions. The research in this thesis investigates several questions that pertain to the acquisition and provision of information. In the first part of this thesis it is assumed that consumers are not fully informed about the prices or availability of a product they want to buy. Consumers can search for information, but this comes at a cost. At the same time, shops can influence these costs. In the first two studies in this part, shops have the possibility to advertise. An advertisement provides information to consumers and reduces the search costs. We investigate, among other things, the pricing behavior of shops and the relation between search and advertising. The third study in this part of the thesis considers the location choice of shops. Locating together in a shopping mall reduces the search costs of consumers. This increases the competition between shops and lowers the prices, but we show that at the same time the sales volume increases. The total effect of locating together on profits is generally positive. The second part of this thesis considers director ties (also named interlocks). A director who has several directorships in different firms can serve as an information bridge between the different firms. At the same time, interlocking directors are busy and form a homogenous group. Data from the Netherlands show that in The Netherlands the positive information providing effect of interlocks is outweighed by a negative busyness and homogenous group effect.

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M.C.W. Janssen (Maarten) , Ph.H.B.F. Franses (Philip Hans)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Tinbergen Instituut Research Series
Erasmus School of Economics

Non, M. (2008, November 28). Essays on Consumer Search and Interlocking Directorates (No. 440). Tinbergen Instituut Research Series. Retrieved from