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Packaging of Sin Goods - Commitment or Exploitation?

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  • Julia Nafziger

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Abstract

I consider the shopping and consumption decision of an individual with a self-control problem. The consumer believes that restricting the consumption of a sinful product (such as chips) is in his long-run interest. But when facing the actual decision he is tempted to overeat. I ask how fims react to such self-control problems, and possibly exploit them, by offering different package sizes. In a competitive market, either one or three (small, medium and large) packages are offered. In contrast to common intuition, the large, and not the small package is a commitment device. The latter serves to exploit the naive consumer.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2014-05.

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Length: 16
Date of creation: 23 Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2014-05

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

Related research

Keywords: Quasi-hyperbolic discounting; self-control; consumer behavior; non-linear pricing;

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  1. Klaus Wertenbroch, 1998. "Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(4), pages 317-337.
  2. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Meer & Neva K. Novarro, 2012. "Do Consumers Exploit Precommitment Opportunities? Evidence from Natural Experiments Involving Liquor Consumption," NBER Working Papers 17762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2009. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," NBER Working Papers 14721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lee, Helen, 2012. "The role of local food availability in explaining obesity risk among young school-aged children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1193-1203.
  5. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2004. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  7. Stefano Della Vigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2004. "Contract Design and Self-control: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 353-402, May.
  8. Esteban, Susanna & Miyagawa, Eiichi & Shum, Matthew, 2003. "Nonlinear Pricing with Self-Control Preferences," Working Papers 10-03-1, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  10. Daniel Gottlieb, 2008. "Competition over Time-Inconsistent Consumers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 673-684, 08.
  11. Esteban, Susanna & Miyagawa, Eiichi, 2006. "Temptation, self-control, and competitive nonlinear pricing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 348-355, March.
  12. Sanjay Jain, 2012. "Marketing of Vice Goods: A Strategic Analysis of the Package Size Decision," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(1), pages 36-51, January.
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