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Why Do Manufacturers Issue Coupons? An Empirical Analysis of Breakfast Cereals

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  • Aviv Nevo
  • Catherine Wolfram

Abstract

We explore the relationship between shelf prices and manufacturers' coupons for 25 ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. We find that shelf prices are lower during periods when coupons are available. This result is inconsistent with static monopoly price discrimination under a broad range of assumptions. We present evidence that is inconsistent with both dynamic theories of price discrimination and explanations of couponing based on the vertical relationship between manufacturers and retailers. We find support for models of price discrimination in oligopoly settings as well as suggestions that firmwide incentives may induce managers to use coupons and price cuts simultaneously. Finally, lagged coupons have a positive effect on current sales, suggesting that coupons are used to induce repurchase.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Pages: 319-339

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:33:y:2002:i:summer:p:319-339

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Cited by:
  1. Kutsal Dogan & Ernan Haruvy & Ram Rao, 2010. "Who should practice price discrimination using rebates in an asymmetric duopoly?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 61-90, March.
  2. Englmaier, Florian & Gratz, Linda & Reisinger, Markus, 2012. "Price Discrimination and Fairness Concerns," Discussion Papers in Economics 12735, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  4. Hal R. Varian, 2010. "Computer Mediated Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 1-10, May.
  5. STROUKAL Dominik, 2013. "Price Discrimination On The Marijuana Market: Schwag Or Endo?," Studies in Business and Economics, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 8(2), pages 128-136, August.
  6. Rennhoff, Adam D. & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2009. "Retailer price distributions and promotional activities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 91-95, May.
  7. Udo Schmidt-Mohr & J. Villas-Boas, 2008. "Competitive product lines with quality constraints," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-16, March.
  8. Meghan Busse & Jorge Silva-Risso & Florian Zettelmeyer, 2006. "$1,000 Cash Back: The Pass-Through of Auto Manufacturer Promotions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1253-1270, September.

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