Shrouded Attributes and the Curse of Educatoin
AbstractSome consumers fail to observe shrouded product attributes when they buy a new product. For example, an account holder may not know their bank's fee schedule. Firms will choose high shrouded fees and compete to attract consumers with loss-leader base goods: e.g., banks will offer free gifts for opening an account and then snare naive consumers with high fees for bouncing a check. Sophisticated consumers take the free gifts and avoid the shrouded fees. Under weak conditions, firms will not be able to profitably attract consumers by advertising low add-on prices, since sophisticated consumers would rather pool with naive consumers at shrouded firms then switch to transparent firms with low add-on fees and no free gifts. Bertrand competition breaks down and monopoly pricing of the add-on persists even in markets with high levels of competition and costless advertising
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 673.
Date of creation: 2004
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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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bounded rationality; behavioral economics; behavioral industrial organization; shrouded attributes; loss leader; myopia; add-on; profit center; complexity; confusion; discrete choice.;
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- D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General
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