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On the incidence and Variety of Low-Price Guarantees

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  • Maria Arbatskaya

    (Emory University)

  • Morten Hviid

    (University of Warwick)

  • Greg Shaffer

    (University of Rochester)

Abstract

We provide evidence of the widespread use and variety of low-price guarantees (how common are they; on what products and services are they observed; and what forms do they take), using data obtained from newspaper advertisements in thirty-seven metropolitan areas in the United States. We also consider why firms adopt LPGs. Is it to facilitate tacit collusion, to price discriminate, or do firms have other motivations? Do price-beating guarantees serve the same purpose as price-matching guarantees? We infer the answers to these questions from (a) the extent to which firms place restrictions on their LPGs; (b) whether LPGs apply to advertised prices or actual selling prices, and (c) whether firms with LPGs have higher or lower prices than firms without LPGs. We also uncover aspects of LPGs that have not previously been studied, e.g., 43% of LPGs allow post-sale search. Our findings suggest topics for future research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics in its series CIE Discussion Papers with number 1999-10.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:1999-10

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Related research

Keywords: facilitating practices; low-price guarantees; collusion;

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Cited by:
  1. Antonio Cabrales & Sergi Jiménez‐Martín, 2013. "The Determinants Of Pricing In Pharmaceuticals: Are Us Prices Really So High?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(11), pages 1377-1397, November.
  2. Enrique Fatas & Juan Mañez, 2007. "Are low-price promises collusion guarantees? An experimental test of price matching policies," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 59-77, March.
  3. Maarten Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2011. "Price Mathing Guarantees and Consumer Search," HSE Working papers WP BRP 03/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  4. Pio Baake & Ulrich Schwalbe, 2013. "Price Guarantees, Consumer Search, and Hassle Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1335, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Antonio Cabrales & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2007. "The Determinants of Pricing in Pharmaceuticals: Are U.S. prices really higher than those of Canada?," Working Papers 304, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Wen Mao, 2005. "Price-matching policy with imperfect information," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(6), pages 367-372.
  7. Xu, Frances Zhiyun, 2011. "Optimal best-price policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 628-643, September.
  8. Subhasish Dugar, 2007. "Price-Matching Guarantees and Equilibrium Selection in a Homogenous Product Market: An Experimental Study," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 107-119, March.
  9. Koh, Dong-Hee & Moon, Junyean & Schellhase, Ralf, 2012. "Price-matching guarantees: Influences on pricing strategy in a market with asymmetric firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(11), pages 1551-1557.
  10. Subhasish Dugar & Todd Sorensen, 2006. "Hassle Costs, Price-Matching Guarantees and Price Competition: An Experiment," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 359-378, June.
  11. Arbatskaya, Maria & Hviid, Morten & Shaffer, Greg, 2006. "On the use of low-price guarantees to discourage price cutting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1139-1156, November.
  12. Morten Hviid & Greg Shaffer, 2012. "Optimal low-price guarantees with anchoring," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 393-417, December.
  13. Datta, Shakun & Offenberg, Jennifer, 2003. "An Experimental Examination of Competitor-Based Price Matching Guarantees," MPRA Paper 575, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Oct 2006.
  14. Tumennasan, Norovsambuu, 2013. "Quantity precommitment and price-matching," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 375-388.
  15. Schwalbe, Ulrich & Baake, Pio, 2013. "Price Guarantees, Consumer Search, and Hassle Costs," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80023, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  16. Desmet, Pierre & Le Nagard, Emmanuelle & Vinzi, Vincenzo Esposito, 2012. "Refund depth effects on the impact of price-beating guarantees," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 603-608.
  17. Arcan Nalca & Tamer Boyaci & Saibal Ray, 2010. "Competitive price-matching guarantees under imperfect store availability," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 275-300, September.
  18. Dutta, Sujay & Bhowmick, Sandeep, 2009. "Consumer responses to offline and online low price signals: The role of cognitive elaboration," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(6), pages 629-635, June.

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