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Seasonality and the Effect of Advertising on Price

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  • Genesove, David
  • Simhon, Avi

Abstract

This paper lays out an econometric strategy for estimating the effect of advertising on prices, by exploiting seasonal demand and imperfect targeting. We present two simple models of duopoly where firms choose prices and advertising. In times of high demand for the product, a larger fraction of consumers who obtain an advertisements are interested in the product, and so the effectiveness of advertising is greater, and firms advertise more. We use this to justify IV estimation of price on log advertising (and trend), in which monthly dummies are used as instruments. Using Israeli data we find a sufficiently large degree of advertising seasonality to justify estimation by the LIML or Fuller-k method. Among those industries, only a few exhibit a significant response of price to advertising. The interpretation of these results depends on the nature of the marginal cost curve: under constant returns to scale a negative response is consistent with informative advertising, and a positive with brand enhancing advertising. Under sufficiently increasing returns to scale, informative advertising will lead to a price increase, yet for some of the products we are able choose among these two types of advertising based on knowledge of the likely cost structure of the industry. Nevertheless, in almost all cases, significant and insignificant, the magnitude of the measured response is very small.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6999.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6999

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Keywords: advertising; prices; seasonality;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Lester G. Telser, 1964. "Advertising and Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 537.
  3. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  4. Joel Waldfogel & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "The Effect of Price Advertising on Prices: Evidence in the Wake of 44 Liquormart," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1081-1096, December.
  5. Robert P. Leone, 1995. "Generalizing What Is Known About Temporal Aggregation and Advertising Carryover," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages G141-G150.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Stegeman, Mark, 1991. "Advertising in Competitive Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 210-23, March.
  9. Glazer, Amihai, 1981. "Advertising, Information, and Prices-A Case Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(4), pages 661-71, October.
  10. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  11. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
  12. Aviv Nevo & Konstantinos Hatzitaskos, 2005. "Why Does the Average Price of Tuna Fall During Lent?," NBER Working Papers 11572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  15. MacDonald, James M, 2000. "Demand, Information, and Competition: Why Do Food Prices Fall at Seasonal Demand Peaks?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 27-45, March.
  16. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  17. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81, January.
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