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Reference price distortion

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  • Jozsef Sakovics

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Abstract

I show that when consumers (mis)perceive prices relative to reference prices, budgets turn out to be soft, prices tend to be lower and the average quality of goods sold decreases. These observations provide explanations for decentralized purchase decisions, for people being happy with a purchase even when they have paid their “valuation”, and for why trade might be detrimental to welfare.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ed.ac.uk/papers/refprice-5dec07.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 177.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:177

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  1. Paul Heidhues & Botond Köszegi, 2004. "The Impact of Consumer Loss Aversion on Pricing," CIG Working Papers SP II 2004-17, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  2. Benartzi, Shlomo & Thaler, Richard H, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92, February.
  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. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John Moore, 2004. "A Cost of Unified Currency," ESE Discussion Papers 119, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  5. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel S. Putler, 1992. "Incorporating Reference Price Effects into a Theory of Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 287-309.
  7. Deaton, Angus S, 1977. "Involuntary Saving through Unanticipated Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 899-910, December.
  8. Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Saving, Fungibility, and Mental Accounts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 193-205, Winter.
  9. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
  10. Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  11. David R. Bell & James M. Lattin, 2000. "Looking for Loss Aversion in Scanner Panel Data: The Confounding Effect of Price Response Heterogeneity," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(2), pages 185-200, May.
  12. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion And Seller Behavior: Evidence From The Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260, November.
  13. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
  14. Heath, Chip & Soll, Jack B, 1996. " Mental Budgeting and Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 40-52, June.
  15. Narayan Janakiraman & Robert J. Meyer & Andrea C. Morales, 2006. "Spillover Effects: How Consumers Respond to Unexpected Changes in Price and Quality," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 361-369, October.
  16. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 2009. "Anchoring Effects: Evidence from Art Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1027-39, June.
  17. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
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