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The Economics of Consumer Knowledge

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  • Ratchford, Brian T
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    Abstract

    While approaches to measuring the state of a consumer's knowledge are well developed, much less is known about the relationship between knowledge and consumer choice and information search. The purpose of this article is to explore these relationships by treating consumer knowledge as human capital, which affects the full price of consumption and search activities. Using this framework, models are presented to explain life cycle consumption patterns, lifestyles, brand loyalty, choice of features, and search behavior. This economic perspective is compared and contrasted to other consumer research on these topics, including recent qualitative research that examines consumption behavior. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 4 (March)
    Pages: 397-411

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:27:y:2001:i:4:p:397-411

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Tom S. Lee & I.P.L. Png, 2003. "The Value of Online Information Privacy: An Empirical Investigation," Industrial Organization 0304001, EconWPA, revised 01 Apr 2003.
    2. Papatla, Purushottam & Liu, Feng (Oliver), 2009. "Google or BizRate? How search engines and comparison sites affect unplanned choices of online retailers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 1039-1045, November.
    3. Cheema, Amar & Papatla, Purushottam, 2010. "Relative importance of online versus offline information for Internet purchases: Product category and Internet experience effects," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(9-10), pages 979-985, September.
    4. Lemieux, James & Peterson, Robert A., 2011. "Purchase deadline as a moderator of the effects of price uncertainty on search duration," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 33-44, February.

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