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Rebates, Matches, and Consumer Behavior

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  • Douglas D. Davis

    ()
    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Edward L. Millner

    ()
    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

Abstract

An experiment conducted to examine the effects of different discount formats on consumer purchases is reported. Participants made a series of purchase decisions for chocolate bars given (a) “rebates” from the listed price, (b) “matching” quantities of chocolates for each bar purchased, and (c) simple price reductions. Contrary to standard theoretical predictions, and consistent results in the context of charitable contributions by Eckel and Grossman (2003), we find that participants purchase significantly more chocolate bars under a “matching” sales format than under a comparable “rebate” format. Inattention to the net consequences of decisions, as well as some “rebate aversion”, explain the preference for matching discounts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0401.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0401

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Keywords: Consumer Behavior; Experiment; Discount Formats;

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References

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  1. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
  2. Douglas Davis & Edward Millner & Robert Reilly, 2005. "Subsidy Schemes and Charitable Contributions: A Closer Look," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 85-106, June.
  3. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Elizabeth Hoffman & Dale J. Menkhaus & Dipankar Chakravarti & Ray A. Field & Glen D. Whipple, 1993. "Using Laboratory Experimental Auctions in Marketing Research: A Case Study of New Packaging for Fresh Beef," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(3), pages 318-338.
  5. John Kagel & Raymond Battalio & Leonard Green, 1995. "Economic choice theory. an experimental analysis of animal behavior," Framed Field Experiments 00166, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Harrison, Glen W. & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutström, 1995. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Discussion Paper Serie B 349, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  8. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2000. "AStudyof Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Working Papers 2000-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Catherine Eckel, 2005. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies," Working Papers 2098, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Lisa Bruttel, 2013. "Is there an Exclusionary Effect of Retroactive Price Reduction Schemes?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-21, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  3. Kimberly Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Subsidies for Charitable Contributions," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/269, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Details Matter: The Impact of Presentation and Information on the Take-Up of Financial Incentives for Retirement Saving," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 204-28, February.
  5. Axsen, Jonn & Mountain, Dean C. & Jaccard, Mark, 2009. "Combining stated and revealed choice research to simulate the neighbor effect: The case of hybrid-electric vehicles," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 221-238, August.
  6. Neslihan Uler, 2011. "Public goods provision, inequality and taxes," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 287-306, September.
  7. Johannes Diederich & Timo Goeschl, 2013. "To Give or Not to Give: The Price of Contributing and the Provision of Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 19332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2006. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions in the Field: Evidence from a Non-Secular Charity," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-44, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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