How Consumers use Gift Certificates
AbstractThere are two important reasons for consumers to spend gift certificates differently than gifts in cash or non-gift income: a) they are forced to change their shopping pattern because of the conditions imposed by the issuer of the certificates, or b) they purposely separate gift certificates from other sources of income. The first reason implies a welfare loss, the second reason does not. We survey consumers who have just redeemed one or more gift certificates. For the gift certificate considered in our empirical application, we find that consumers are not constrained by the set of accepting merchants but that they do make some small changes in the timing of expenditures because of the certificate's no-refund policy. About 14 percent of recipients separate their gift certificates from other income sources in order to buy a product they really love to have. Males tend to spend the certificates on ordinary items, whereas females are more likely to treat themselves by buying more personalized items.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 12-002/1.
Date of creation: 02 Jan 2012
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gift giving; labeling;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-01-25 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-MKT-2012-01-25 (Marketing)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jennifer Pate Offenberg, 2007. "Markets: Gift Cards," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 227-238, Spring.
- Neeraj Kaushal & Qin Gao, 2011.
"Food Stamp Program and Consumption Choices,"
in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 223-247
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Grossman & Naci H. Mocan, 2011. "Economic Aspects of Obesity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros09-1, December.
- List, John A & Shogren, Jason F, 1998. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1350-55, December.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- The deadweight loss of gift certificates
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-02-03 15:12:00
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