I originally thought this paper was about survey fatigue, which even I, a vocal advocate of filling out surveys, experience a lot lately. But it’s about search fatigue, probably capitalizing on how a wealth of options results in decisions not quite reflecting optimal.
Consumer search is not only costly but also tiring. We characterize the intertemporal effects that search fatigue has on oligopoly prices, product proliferation, and the provision of consumer assistance (i.e., advice). These effects vary based on whether search is all-or-nothing or sequential in nature, whether learning takes place, and whether consumers exhibit brand loyalty. We perform welfare analysis and highlight the novel empirical implications that our analysis generates.
Maybe one day I’ll have time to read it. That and the million other papers on my list. May?
Carlin, Ian Bruce and Florian Ederer. “Search Fatigue.” NBER Working Paper No. 17895. March, 2012.