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Learning, Forgetting, and Sales

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  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B
  • Villas-Boas, Miguel

Abstract

Sellers of almost any product or service rarely keep their prices constant through time, and frequently offer price discounts or sales. This paper investigates an explanation of sales as a way for uninformed consumers to be willing to experience the product, and learn about its fit, and where informed consumers may forget about (or change) their preferences. We investigate the role of the rate of forgetting on the timing between sales, and of the rate of learning and menu costs on the length of a sale. We also investigate the effect of a seller carrying multiple products on the pattern of sales. Using price series from supermarket categories, and given the assumed simplified preference structure, we obtain empirical estimates of the rates of learning and forgetting, and of the other model parameters.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt7td275hv.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt7td275hv

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  1. Shilony, Yuval, 1977. "Mixed pricing in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 373-388, April.
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  7. Vijay Mahajan & Eitan Muller, 1986. "Advertising Pulsing Policies for Generating Awareness for New Products," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(2), pages 89-106.
  8. Conlisk, John & Gerstner, Eitan & Sobel, Joel, 1984. "Cyclic Pricing by a Durable Goods Monopolist," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 489-505, August.
  9. Anderson, Eric T. & Kumar, Nanda & Rajiv, Surendra, 2004. "A comment on: "Revisiting dynamic duopoly with consumer switching costs"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 177-186, May.
  10. Aghion, P. & Bolton, P. & Harris, C. & Jullien, B., 1990. "Optimal Learning By Experimentation," DELTA Working Papers 90-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Villas-Boas, J Miguel, 1995. "Models of Competitive Price Promotions: Some Empirical Evidence from the Coffee and Saltine Crackers Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 85-107, Spring.
  12. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2007. "Vertical Relationships between Manufacturers and Retailers: Inference with Limited Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 625-652.
  13. Levy, Daniel, et al, 1997. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 791-825, August.
  14. Rosenthal, Robert W, 1980. "A Model in Which an Increase in the Number of Sellers Leads to a Higher Price," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1575-79, September.
  15. John W. Keon, 1980. "The Bargain Value Model and a Comparison of Managerial Implications with the Linear Learning Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(11), pages 1117-1130, November.
  16. Ram C. Rao & Ramesh V. Arjunji & B. P. S. Murthi, 1995. "Game Theory and Empirical Generalizations Concerning Competitive Promotions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages G89-G100.
  17. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-85, September.
  18. Nitin Mehta & Surendra Rajiv & Kannan Srinivasan, 2004. "Role of Forgetting in Memory-Based Choice Decisions: A Structural Model," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-140, June.
  19. Fred M. Feinberg, 2001. "On Continuous-Time Optimal Advertising Under S-Shaped Response," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(11), pages 1476-1487, November.
  20. Doyle, Chris, 1986. "Intertemporal Price Discrimination, Uncertainty and Introductory Offers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(380a), pages 71-82, Supplemen.
  21. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 1993. "Predicting Advertising Pulsing Policies in an Oligopoly: A Model and Empirical Test," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(1), pages 88-102.
  22. Eric T. Anderson & Duncan I. Simester, 1998. "The Role of Sale Signs," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(2), pages 139-155.
  23. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2004. "Monopoly Pricing of Experience Goods," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1463R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2005.
  24. Ram C. Rao, 1991. "Pricing and Promotions in Asymmetric Duopolies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 131-144.
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Cited by:
  1. Matthew Osborne, 2007. "Consumer Learning, Switching Costs, and Heterogeneity: A Structural Examination," EAG Discussions Papers 200710, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  2. Konrad, Kai A., 2010. "Merger profitability in industries with brand portfolios and loyal customers," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2010-08, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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