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How Does Advertising Affect Market Performance? The Case of Generic Advertising

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  • Hamilton, Stephen F.
  • Richards, Timothy J.
  • Stiegert, Kyle W.

Abstract

The effect of advertising on market performance has been a long-standing debate. Advertising that increases the dispersion of consumers’ valuations for advertised goods raises the market power of firms, while advertising that decreases the dispersion of consumers’ valuations leads to narrower price-cost margins and superior performance in markets for advertised goods. Numerous challenges confound the empirical identification of advertising effects on market performance. This paper proposes a simple method that relies on the revealed preferences of firms participating in generic advertising programs. Generic advertising programs provide a unique window through which to observe advertising effects on market performance, because changes in the dispersion of consumers’ valuations systematically redistributes rents among firms according to observable characteristics on producer size. We examine producer attitudes towards generic advertising in the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” campaign of the U.S. Beef Checkoff program and find the likelihood a producer favors an expansion of the advertising program increases in operating scale. This finding is consistent with advertising effects that have led to a decrease in the dispersion of consumers’ valuations for beef products and a commensurate increase in market performance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49187.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49187

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Keywords: Advertising; Oligopoly; Marketing; L1; M37;

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  1. Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
  2. Ackerberg, Daniel A, 2001. "Empirically Distinguishing Informative and Prestige Effects of Advertising," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 316-33, Summer.
  3. Jeffrey Milyo & Joel Waldfogel, 1998. "The Effect of Price Advertising and Prices: Evidence in the Wake of 44 Liquormart," NBER Working Papers 6488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. John List, 2006. "The behavioralist meets the market: Measuring social preferences and reputation effects in actual transactions," Natural Field Experiments 00300, The Field Experiments Website.
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  8. 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.
  9. Cady, John F, 1976. "An Estimate of the Price Effects of Restrictions on Drug Price Advertising," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 493-510, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Asset Ownership and Market Structure in Oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
  12. Tülin Erdem & Michael Keane & Baohong Sun, 2008. "The impact of advertising on consumer price sensitivity in experience goods markets," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 139-176, June.
  13. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, December.
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