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$1,000 Cash Back: The Pass-Through of Auto Manufacturer Promotions

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  • Meghan Busse
  • Jorge Silva-Risso
  • Florian Zettelmeyer
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    Abstract

    Automobile manufacturers frequently use promotions involving cash incentives. While payments are nominally directed to either customers or dealers, the ultimate beneficiary of the promotion depends on the outcome of price negotiation. We use program evaluation methods to compare the incidence of these two types of promotions. Customers obtain 70 to 90 percent of a customer rebate, but only 30 to 40 percent of a dealer discount promotion, a $500 difference for a typical promotion. Our leading hypothesis is that pass-through rates differ because of information asymmetries: customer rebates are well-publicized to customers, while dealer discount promotions are not. (JEL D82, L11, L15, L62, L81, M31)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.4.1253
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 1253-1270

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:4:p:1253-1270

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.4.1253
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    References

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    1. David Besanko & Jean-Pierre Dubé & Sachin Gupta, 2005. "Own-Brand and Cross-Brand Retail Pass-Through," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(1), pages 123-137, July.
    2. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
    3. Aviv Nevo & Catherine Wolfram, 2002. "Why Do Manufacturers Issue Coupons? An Empirical Analysis of Breakfast Cereals," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 319-339, Summer.
    4. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-85, September.
    5. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Gul, Faruk & Sonnenschein, Hugo & Wilson, Robert, 1986. "Foundations of dynamic monopoly and the coase conjecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 155-190, June.
    7. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Infinite-Horizon Models of Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1098, David K. Levine.
    8. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Caliskan-Demirag, Ozgun & (Frank) Chen, Youhua & Li, Jianbin, 2011. "Customer and retailer rebates under risk aversion," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(2), pages 736-750, October.
    2. MartI´n-Herrán, Guiomar & Sigué, Simon P., 2011. "Prices, promotions, and channel profitability: Was the conventional wisdom mistaken?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 415-425, June.
    3. Huse, Cristian, 2014. "Fast and Furious (and Dirty): How Asymmetric Regulation May Hinder Environmental Policy," MPRA Paper 48909, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2007. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hellerstein, Rebecca & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2010. "Outsourcing and pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 170-183, July.
    6. Gallagher, Kelly Sims & Muehlegger, Erich, 2011. "Giving green to get green? Incentives and consumer adoption of hybrid vehicle technology," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-15, January.
    7. Oleg Korenok & George E. Hoffer & Edward L. Millner, 2009. "Non-Price Determinants of Automotive Demand: Restyling Matters Most," Working Papers 0903, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Maciejovsky, Boris & Wernerfelt, Birger, 2011. "Costs of implementation: Bargaining costs versus allocative efficiency," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 318-325, March.
    9. Liang, Donghan & Li, Gang & Sun, Linyan & Chen, Yubao, 2013. "The role of rebates in the hybrid competition between a national brand and a private label with present-biased consumers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 208-219.
    10. Andrew Sfekas & Dean R. Lillard, 2013. "Do Firms Use Coupons and In-store Discounts to Strategically Market Experience Goods Over the Consumption Life-Cycle? The Case of Cigarettes," NBER Working Papers 19310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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