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Who A dvertises Prices? A Firm Level Study Based on Survey Data

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  • David Paton

Abstract

Recent years have seen a growing body of literature devoted to the analysis of price advertising. Much of this work argues that price advertising leads to lower prices and is likely to be welfare improving. The questions of how much price advertising takes place and which firms are more likely to include price information in advertising have been somewhat neglected. This paper uses a unique new data set of UK company advertising to answer these questions. The evidence presented suggests that only a small proportion of firms include price information in any of their advertisements. Price information tends to be included in a higher percentage of the advertisements of distribution companies and of those which face more than ten competitors. In addition, the importance of price as a form of competition is a factor in determining the inclusion of price information, but only where the firm aims most of its advertisements towards final consumers.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13571519884576
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

Volume (Year): 5 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 57-75

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:5:y:1998:i:1:p:57-75

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Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CIJB20

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Related research

Keywords: Advertising; Price; Search; Information;

References

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  1. Van Hoomissen, Theresa, 1988. "Price Dispersion and Inflation: Evidence from Israel," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1303-14, December.
  2. Buxton, A J & Davies, S W & Lyons, B R, 1984. "Concentration and Advertising in Consumer and Producer Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 451-64, June.
  3. Bester, Helmut & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 1995. "Price competition and advertising in oligopoly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 1075-1088, June.
  4. Bester, Helmut, 1994. "Random Advertising and Monopolistic Price Dispersion," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 545-59, Fall.
  5. Schroeter, John R. & Smith, Scott L. & Cox, Steven R., 1987. "Advertising and Competition in Routine Legal Service Markets," Staff General Research Papers 11115, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Laband, David N, 1991. "An Objective Measure of Search versus Experience Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 497-509, July.
  8. Caminal, Ramon, 1996. "Price Advertising and Coupons in a Monopoly Model," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 33-52, March.
  9. Benham, Lee, 1972. "The Effect of Advertising on the Price of Eyeglasses," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 337-52, October.
  10. Machin, Stephen J & Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Unions and the Financial Performance of British Private Sector Establishments," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 327-50, Oct.-Dec..
  11. Kwoka, John E, Jr, 1984. "Advertising and the Price and Quality of Optometric Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(1), pages 211-16, March.
  12. Robert, Jacques & Stahl, Dale O, II, 1993. "Informative Price Advertising in a Sequential Search Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 657-86, May.
  13. Lal, Rajiv & Matutes, Carmen, 1994. "Retail Pricing and Advertising Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(3), pages 345-70, July.
  14. Caves, Richard E & Williamson, Peter J, 1985. "What Is Product Differentiation, Really?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 113-32, December.
  15. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-64, November.
  16. Sass, Tim R & Saurman, David S, 1995. "Advertising Restrictions and Concentration: The Case of Malt Beverages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 66-81, February.
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