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Behavioral Decision-Making: An Application to the Setting of Magazine Subscription Prices

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  • Fiona Scott Morton
  • Sharon Oster
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    Abstract

    Using data from American magazines, we explore the relationship between subscription discounts and magazine characteristics. We focus in particular on those magazine features that might lead time-inconsistent consumers to wish to engage in commitment behavior. We find that for magazines whose payoff is in the future and/or that are meritorious for other reasons, subscription discounts are lower all else equal. This finding suggests that publishers may be able to set subscription prices in order to extract rents from consumers' willingness to tie their own hands in terms of their future reading.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10120.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10120.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10120

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    1. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharn, 2003. "Gender Differences in Trust and Reciprocity," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 875, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2000. "The Social Discount Rate," NBER Working Papers 7983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Klaus Wertenbroch, 1998. "Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(4), pages 317-337.
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