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Effects of Product Availability: Experimental Evidence

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  • Christopher T. Conlon
  • Julie Holland Mortimer

Abstract

Product availability impacts many industries such as transportation, events, and retail, yet little empirical evidence documents the importance of stocking decisions for firm profits, vertical relationships, or consumers. We conduct several experiments, exogenously removing top-selling products from a set of vending machines and analyzing substitution patterns and profit impacts of the changed product availability using nonparametric analyses and structural demand estimation. We find substantial switching to alternate products, and evidence of misaligned incentives between upstream and downstream firms in the choice of which products to carry. We discuss the trade-offs of both empirical approaches for analyzing product availability effects generally.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16506.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16506

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  1. Bertrand, Marianne & Karlan, Dean & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Shafir, Eldar & Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "What's Advertising Content Worth? Evidence from a Consumer Credit Marketing Field Experiment," Working Papers, Yale University, Department of Economics 58, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. repec:feb:artefa:0090 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & John A. List & David H. Reiley, 2005. "Demand Reduction in Multi-Unit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 472-476, March.
  4. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
  5. Michael P. Keane, 2010. "A Structural Perspective on the Experimentalist School," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 47-58, Spring.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Dean S. Karlan & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," Working Papers, Economic Growth Center, Yale University 918, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. J. Levin & L. Einav., 2012. "Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
  8. Aguirregabiria, Victor, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308, April.
  9. Patrick Bajari & Jeremy T. Fox & Kyoo il Kim & Stephen P. Ryan, 2009. "A Simple Nonparametric Estimator for the Distribution of Random Coefficients," NBER Working Papers 15210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2008. "Demand Estimation Under Incomplete Product Availability," NBER Working Papers 14315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ostrovsky, Michael & Schwarz, Michael, 2009. "Reserve Prices in Internet Advertising Auctions: A Field Experiment," Research Papers, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business 2054, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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Cited by:
  1. Rosato, Antonio, 2013. "Selling Substitute Goods to Loss-Averse Consumers: Limited Availability, Bargains and Rip-offs," MPRA Paper 47168, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2013. "An Experimental Approach to Merger Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 19703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2013. "Efficiency and Foreclosure Effects of All-Units Discounts: Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. K. Sudhir & Nathan Yang, 2014. "Exploiting the Choice-Consumption Mismatch: A New Approach to Disentangle State Dependence and Heterogeneity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University 1941, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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