Departmental Papers (CIS)

Date of this Version

October 2001

Document Type

Conference Paper


Postprint version. Copyright ACM, 2001. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce 2001 (EC 2001), pages 260-263.
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Shopbots and Internet sites that help users locate the best price for a product are changing the way people shop by providing valuable information on goods and services. This paper presents a first attempt to measure the value of one piece of information: the price charged for goods and services. We first establish a theoretical limit to the value of price information for the first seller in a market that decides to sell price information to a shopbot and quantify the revenues that the seller can expect to receive. We then proceed to discuss whether and how much of this theoretical value can actually be realized in equilibrium settings.


shopbots, e-commerce, price dispersion, information value

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Date Posted: 15 May 2005