Who Benefits from Information Disclosure? The Case of Retail Gasoline
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© 2019, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics. How does online price disclosure affect competition when both consumers and firms can use the disclosed information? This paper addresses this question exploiting the sequential implementation of an online price-disclosure policy in the Chilean retail gasoline industry. The results show that disclosure increased margins by 9 percent on average, though the effects varied across the country depending on the intensity of local search behavior. Because margins increased the least, and even decreased, in high-search areas, where income is also higher, the results also show that price disclosure policies may have important distributional effects.
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