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Pricing and Information Disclosure in Markets with Loss-Averse Consumers

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  • Karle, Heiko
  • Peitz, Martin

Abstract

We develop a theory of imperfect competition with loss-averse consumers. All consumers are fully informed about match value and price at the time they make their purchasing decision. However, a share of consumers are initially uncertain about their tastes and form a reference point consisting of an expected match value and an expected price distribution, while other consumers are perfectly informed all the time. We derive pricing implications in duopoly with asymmetric firms. In particular, we show that a market may exhibit more price variation the larger the share of uninformed, loss-averse consumers. We also derive implications for firm strategy and public policy concerning firms’ incentives to inform consumers about their match value prior to forming their reference point.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7785.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7785

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Related research

Keywords: Advertising; Behavioral Industrial Organization; Imperfect Competition; Information Disclosure; Loss Aversion; Price Variation; Product Differentiation; Reference-Dependent Utility;

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References

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  1. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2006. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 689-714.
  2. Armstrong, Mark & Chen, Yongmin, 2007. "Inattentive Consumers and Product Quality," MPRA Paper 4797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-68, September.
  4. Jidong Zhou, 2011. "Reference Dependence and Market Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 1073-1097, December.
  5. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 11043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael D. Grubb, 2006. "Selling to Overconfident Consumers," Discussion Papers 06-018, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. repec:bla:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:3:p:689-714 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Paul Wachtel & Rainer Haselmann, 2007. "Risk Taking by Banks in the Transition Countries," Working Papers 07-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1997. "Consumer Information and Firm Pricing: Negative Externalities from Improved Information," Virginia Economics Online Papers 338, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  11. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118, October.
  12. Karle, Heiko & Peitz, Martin, 2010. "Consumer Loss Aversion and the Intensity of Competition," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 319, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Paul Heidhues & Botond Koszegi, 2010. "Regular prices and sales," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-008, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  2. Ran Spiegler, 2012. "Monopoly pricing when consumers are antagonized by unexpected price increases: a “cover version” of the Heidhues–Kőszegi–Rabin model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 695-711, November.
  3. David Freeman, 2013. "Revealed Preference Foundations of Expectations-Based Reference-Dependence," Discussion Papers dp13-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  4. Huck, Steffen & Zhou, Jidong, 2011. "Consumer behavioural biases in competition: A survey," MPRA Paper 31794, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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