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Models of Competitive Price Promotions: Some Empirical Evidence from the Coffee and Saltine Crackers Markets

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  • Villas-Boas, J Miguel

Abstract

I present tests of a competitive rationale for price promotions. In a model with a population of informed and uninformed customers, price competition yields a static equilibrium in which each seller draws a price from a specified density function. Price data on coffee and saltine crackers products are used to test whether the sample of prices on each product could have possibly come from the theoretically specified density function. The results suggest that some markets are indeed consistent with the marginal distributions of prices predicted by the model. Furthermore, in the process of testing this rationale for price promotions, estimates are obtained for the marginal cost of each product, the number of competing goods, and the percentage of informed consumers. The resulting excess variability of these estimates across competing brands can also raise questions with respect to the empirical validity of the model. Copyright 1995 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Villas-Boas, J Miguel, 1995. "Models of Competitive Price Promotions: Some Empirical Evidence from the Coffee and Saltine Crackers Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 85-107, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:4:y:1995:i:1:p:85-107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Riordan, Michael H, 1984. "Advertising as a Signal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 427-450, June.
    2. Schmalensee, Richard, 1978. "A Model of Advertising and Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 485-503, June.
    3. Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81.
    4. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
    5. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
    6. repec:hoo:wpaper:91-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    8. Archibald, Robert B & Haulman, Clyde A & Moody, Carlisle E, Jr, 1983. " Quality, Price, Advertising, and Published Quality Ratings," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 347-356, March.
    9. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
    10. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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