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Reference distorted prices

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  • József Sákovics

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Abstract

I show that when consumers (mis)perceive prices relative to reference prices, budgets turn out to be soft, prices tend to be lower and the average quality of goods sold decreases. These observations provide explanations for decentralized purchase decisions, for people being happy with a purchase even when they have paid their evaluation, and for why trade might affect high quality local firms 'unfairly'.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11129-011-9104-5
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Quantitative Marketing and Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 339-363

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Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:9:y:2011:i:4:p:339-363

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=111240

Related research

Keywords: Reference price; Soft budget constraint; Transaction utility; Leftover utility; D11;

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References

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  1. Gurumurthy Kalyanaram & Russell S. Winer, 1995. "Empirical Generalizations from Reference Price Research," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages G161-G169.
  2. Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Heath, Chip & Soll, Jack B, 1996. " Mental Budgeting and Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 40-52, June.
  4. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  5. Narayan Janakiraman & Robert J. Meyer & Andrea C. Morales, 2006. "Spillover Effects: How Consumers Respond to Unexpected Changes in Price and Quality," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 361-369, October.
  6. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
  8. Niedrich, Ronald W & Sharma, Subhash & Wedell, Douglas H, 2001. " Reference Price and Price Perceptions: A Comparison of Alternative Models," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 339-54, December.
  9. Paul Heidhues & Botond Köszegi, 2004. "The Impact of Consumer Loss Aversion on Pricing," CIG Working Papers SP II 2004-17, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  10. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-68, September.
  11. Briesch, Richard A, et al, 1997. " A Comparative Analysis of Reference Price Models," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 202-14, September.
  12. Bruce G. S. Hardie & Eric J. Johnson & Peter S. Fader, 1993. "Modeling Loss Aversion and Reference Dependence Effects on Brand Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(4), pages 378-394.
  13. Daniel S. Putler, 1992. "Incorporating Reference Price Effects into a Theory of Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 287-309.
  14. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion And Seller Behavior: Evidence From The Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260, November.
  15. Deaton, Angus S, 1977. "Involuntary Saving through Unanticipated Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 899-910, December.
  16. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
  17. David R. Bell & James M. Lattin, 2000. "Looking for Loss Aversion in Scanner Panel Data: The Confounding Effect of Price Response Heterogeneity," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(2), pages 185-200, May.
  18. Winer, Russell S, 1986. " A Reference Price Model of Brand Choice for Frequently Purchased Products," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 250-56, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Friedman, Daniel & Sákovics, József, 2011. "The marginal utility of money: A modern Marshallian approach to consumer choice," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-61, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

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