Entry and welfare in search markets

Yongmin CHEN, Tianle ZHANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The welfare effects of entry are studied in a model of consumer search. Potential entrants differ in quality, with high-quality sellers being more likely to meet consumer needs. Contrary to the standard view in economics that more entry benefits consumers, we find that free entry is excessive for both consumer welfare and total welfare when entry cost is relatively low, and consumer welfare has an inverted-U relationship with entry cost. We explain why these results may arise naturally in search markets due to the search variety and search quality effects of entry, and discuss their business and policy implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-80
Number of pages26
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number608
Early online date26 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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