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Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior

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  • Igal Hendel
  • Aviv Nevo

Abstract

Temporary price reductions (sales) are common for many goods and naturally result in large increases in the quantity sold. Demand estimation based on temporary price reductions may mismeasure the long-run responsiveness to prices. In this paper we quantify the extent of the problem and assess its economic implications. We structurally estimate a dynamic model of consumer choice using two years of scanner data on the purchasing behavior of a panel of households. The results suggest that static demand estimates, which neglect dynamics, (i) overestimate own-price elasticities by 30 percent, (ii) underestimate cross-price elasticities by up to a factor of 5, and (iii) overestimate the substitution to the no-purchase or outside option by over 200 percent. This suggests that policy analysis based on static elasticity estimates will underestimate price-cost margins and underpredict the effects of mergers. Copyright The Econometric Society 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:74:y:2006:i:6:p:1637-1673
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2006.00721.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeongwen Chiang, 1991. "A Simultaneous Approach to the Whether, What and How Much to Buy Questions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(4), pages 297-315.
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    7. David R. Bell & Jeongwen Chiang & V. Padmanabhan, 1999. "The Decomposition of Promotional Response: An Empirical Generalization," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(4), pages 504-526.
    8. Aguirregabiria, Victor, 2005. "Nonparametric identification of behavioral responses to counterfactual policy interventions in dynamic discrete decision processes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 393-398, June.
    9. Boztuğ, Yasemin & Bell, David R., 2004. "The Effect of Inventory on Purchase Incidence: Empirical Analysis of Opposing Forces of Storage and Consumption," Papers 2004,43, Humboldt University of Berlin, Center for Applied Statistics and Economics (CASE).
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    JEL classification:

    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General

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