Journal Article

Consumer switching in European retail markets

July 10, 2019

Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 72, Issue 2, April 2020, pp. 453-471

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Consumer switching can play a significant role in enabling competitive retail markets. This paper examines the factors influencing consumer switching across 14 different retail markets in 27 European countries (EU27) using a micro-econometric analysis of consumer switching behaviour data from the European Commission’s Consumer Market Monitoring Survey. The results provide evidence that consumer attitudes to various market components are highly significant factors in explaining consumer switching behaviour in the EU27. In addition, this paper also examines cross-market effects on consumer switching behaviour. Focusing on the case of energy retail markets, the odds of switching in these markets are found to be considerably greater for a consumer who has switched in at least one other retail market. Finally, consumers’ accessibility to the internet is also shown to have a strong positive association with switching.