Omar Vásquez Duque

Law School & Department of Economics

An Empirical Study about the Potential Stickiness of Default Search Engines

Default applications are pervasive. Computers and operative systems come with preinstalled software and most applications include preconfigured settings. The user experience’s environment may affect the market penetration of computer software and applications. In fact, several antitrust cases have dealt with the potential exclusionary effect of default applications. While the behavioral economics literature has documented default effects in many different domains, law enforcers have usually assumed that default effects exist and that these effects have anticompetitive effects. This research project examines to what extent and under what conditions default effects arise in the search engines market. To this end, I run a survey experiment on Amazon Mechanical Turk in which I randomly assigned the participants to either an active choice or a default condition in which one of three different search engines was assigned as the default. Preliminary results suggest that a stickiness effect exists, but it is highly moderated by the perceived quality of the search engine.

Visit his webpage here.