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$1,000 Cash Back: The Pass-Through of Auto Manufacturer Promotions

  • Meghan Busse
  • Jorge Silva-Risso
  • Florian Zettelmeyer
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    Automobile manufacturers frequently use promotions involving cash incentives. While payments are nominally directed to either customers or dealers, the ultimate beneficiary of the promotion depends on the outcome of price negotiation. We use program evaluation methods to compare the incidence of these two types of promotions. Customers obtain 70 to 90 percent of a customer rebate, but only 30 to 40 percent of a dealer discount promotion, a $500 difference for a typical promotion. Our leading hypothesis is that pass-through rates differ because of information asymmetries: customer rebates are well-publicized to customers, while dealer discount promotions are not. (JEL D82, L11, L15, L62, L81, M31)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.4.1253
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/sept06/20041005_data.zip
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 1253-1270

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:4:p:1253-1270
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.4.1253
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    1. David Besanko & Jean-Pierre Dubé & Sachin Gupta, 2005. "Own-Brand and Cross-Brand Retail Pass-Through," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(1), pages 123-137, July.
    2. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation Of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599, May.
    3. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-85, September.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Aviv Nevo & Catherine Wolfram, 2002. "Why Do Manufacturers Issue Coupons? An Empirical Analysis of Breakfast Cereals," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 319-339, Summer.
    6. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Infinite-Horizon Models of Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1098, David K. Levine.
    7. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
    8. Faruk Gul & Hugo Sonnenschein & Robert Wilson, 2010. "Foundations of Dynamic Monopoly and the Coase Conjecture," Levine's Working Paper Archive 232, David K. Levine.
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