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Sales, Quantity Surcharge, and Consumer Inattention

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  • Clerides, Sofronis
  • Courty, Pascal

Abstract

Quantity surcharges occur when firms market a product in two sizes and offer a promotion on the small size: the large size then costs more per unit than the small one. When quantity surcharges occur the sales of the large size decrease only slightly despite the fact that the small size is a cheaper option - a clear arbitrage opportunity. This behavior is consistent with the notion of rationally inattentive consumers that has been developed in models of information frictions. We discuss implications for consumer decision making, demand estimation, and firm pricing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8115.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8115

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Related research

Keywords: consumer inattention; nonlinear pricing; promotions; quantity discounts; quantity surcharge; sales;

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References

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  1. Tülin Erdem & Susumu Imai & Michael Keane, 2003. "Brand and Quantity Choice Dynamics Under Price Uncertainty," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-64, March.
  2. Michelle Sovinsky Goeree, 2005. "Advertising in the US Personal Computer Industry," Industrial Organization 0503002, EconWPA.
  3. Berck, Peter & Brown, Jennifer & Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Villas-Boas, Sofia B, 2007. "Sales : tests of theories on causality and timing," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1031, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  4. Michelle Sovinsky Goeree, 2008. "Limited Information and Advertising in the U.S. Personal Computer Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(5), pages 1017-1074, 09.
  5. Tanjim Hossain & John Morgan, 2006. "...plus shipping and handling: Revenue (non) equivalence in field experiments on ebay," Natural Field Experiments 00270, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2007. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bentzen, Jan & Engsted, Tom, 1993. "Short- and long-run elasticities in energy demand : A cointegration approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 9-16, January.
  8. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Optimal sticky prices under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1009, European Central Bank.
  9. Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
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Cited by:
  1. P. Février & L. Wilner, 2012. "Do Consumers Correctly Expect Price Reductions? Testing Dynamic Behavior," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2012-03, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.

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