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How Large Are Non-Budget-Constraint Effects of Prices on Demand?

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  • Ori Heffetz
  • Moses Shayo

Abstract

Elementary consumer theory assumes prices affect demand only because they affect the budget constraint (BC). Alternative models, and some evidence, suggest prices can affect demand through other, non-BC channels (e.g., by signaling quality). This paper uses a lab and a field experiment to disentangle BC from non-BC effects of prices on demand. In the lab, we find that although prices positively affect stated willingness to pay, non-BC price elasticities are considerably smaller than BC price elasticities, are often statistically insignificant, and do not increase with product uncertainty. We do not detect any non-BC effects in our field experiment. (JEL C93, D12, M31)

Suggested Citation

  • Ori Heffetz & Moses Shayo, 2009. "How Large Are Non-Budget-Constraint Effects of Prices on Demand?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 170-199, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:4:p:170-99 Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.4.170
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    1. repec:eee:jeeman:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:209-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ashraf, Nava & Jack, B. Kelsey & Kamenica, Emir, 2013. "Information and subsidies: Complements or substitutes?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 133-139.
    3. Qihua Liu & Shan Huang & Liyi Zhang, 2016. "The influence of information cascades on online purchase behaviors of search and experience products," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 553-580, December.
    4. Greg Fischer & Dean Karlan & Margaret McConnell & Pia Raffler, 2014. "To Charge or Not to Charge: Evidence from a Health Products Experiment in Uganda," Working Papers 1041, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    5. Mastrobuoni, Giovanni & Peracchi, Franco & Tetenov, Aleksey, 2014. "Price as a Signal of Product Quality: Some Experimental Evidence," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 135-152, August.
    6. Pascaline Dupas, 2014. "Short‐Run Subsidies and Long‐Run Adoption of New Health Products: Evidence From a Field Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 197-228, January.
    7. B Kelsey Jack, "undated". "Market Inefficiencies and the Adoption of Agricultural Technologies in Developing Countries," CID Working Papers 50, Center for International Development at Harvard University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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