Brown Bag Seminar : Johannes Johnen

October 16, 2019


CORE C 035

Deceptive Products on Platforms

Johannes Johnen, UCLouvain CORE


On many online platforms, sellers offer products with additional fees and features. Platforms often deliberately shroud these fees from consumers. Examples are shipping fees, luggage fees on flight-aggregator websites, or resort fees and upgrades on hotel booking platforms. We explore the incentives of two-sided platforms to disclose additional fees and design a transparent marketplace when consumers might naively ignore shrouded additional fees. First, we find that platforms have stronger incentives to shroud additional fees than sellers in the absence of platforms. This result holds for monopoly platforms and in some competitive settings. Second, competition might induce platforms to regulate additional fees, which benefits consumers. We discuss connections to frequent practices like drip pricing, and platforms like Amazon or eBay regulating shipping fees.

Please fill the doodle by Tuesday, October 15th at noon if you plan to attend and mention whether you would like a sandwich:

Remember to bring your own cup if you would like to have some water.
Looking forward to seeing you all in the seminar!

ps: If you want to present your work, please contact us. Find the calendar here: 

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