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Title: Multi-commodity search : three essays
Author: Gatti, R.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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The main purpose of the thesis is to extend the search literature by considering consumers who search for 'bundles' of commodities, rather than just a single good. It is shown that many of the results standard in the single commodity analysis, such as reservation prices and monopoly pricing, do not survive the transition to multi-commodity analysis. The thesis consists of three separate, but inter-related essays. Brief outlines of each essay follows. "Multi-Commodity Consumer Search." This paper considers the optimal strategy for a consumer who searches amongst firms for prices which will maximise an indirect utility function. The optimal search strategy cannot in general be represented by a 'reservation boundary', the multi-commodity extension of the 'reservation price'. Necessary and sufficient conditions are obtained for the optimal search strategy to be represented by a 'reservation boundary', and it is shown that an additively separable indirect utility function will satisfy these conditions. "Existence of Nash Equilibrium in Games with Discontinuous Payoffs." This paper extends the work by Dasgupta & Maskin and Simon to obtain a more general proof for the existence of mixed strategy Nash equilibria in games with discontinuous payoff functions. Following the method of analysis developed by Dasgupta & Maskin, I consider a sequence of finite games which converge to the discontinuous game in the limit. Sufficient conditions are obtained for the limit of a sequence of Nash equilibria from the finite games to be a Nash equilibrium of the limit game. The resulting conditions are not only more general than those from previous analyses but in many cases easier to apply. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Multi-Commodity Search." In this paper I develop a model of multi-commodity search where homogeneous consumers search sequentially, and with strictly positive search costs, to maximise an additively separable indirect utility function. Firms sell only one type of commodity, but within industries firms are identical and commodities are homogeneous.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available