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The Effect of .99 Price Endings on Consumer Demand: An Example of Confounding Factors Surviving in Field Experiments

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  • Antonio Filippin

    () (Dipartimento di Economia, Management e Metodi Quantitativi, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy)

Abstract

The paper investigates the effect of .99 price endings on consumer demand by means of a field experiment. Results tail behind other contributions showing how .99-endings can be ineffective, casting doubts on their widespread use among retailers. When the .99-ending price is removed an increase of sales emerges from descriptive statistics as well as in a multivariate framework in which sales of the treated item are the only dependent variable. However, such a counterintuitive effect does not survive in a differences-in-differences model in which the daily sales of all the relevant substitutes are jointly analyzed. There is no evidence of any common shock during the treatment. In contrast, a different price-elasticity of demand drives the relative increase of sales of the treated item when prices of the substitutes are on average higher. Once the different reactions to price changes are taken into account, the treated item does not display significantly higher sales as compared to its substitutes when the .99-ending price is removed.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Filippin, 2013. "The Effect of .99 Price Endings on Consumer Demand: An Example of Confounding Factors Surviving in Field Experiments," Journal of Economics and Management, College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, vol. 9(2), pages 211-229, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:jec:journl:v:9:y:2013:i:2:p:211-229
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    File URL: http://www.jem.org.tw/content/pdf/Vol.9No.2/06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hackl, Franz & Kummer, Michael E. & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2014. "99 Cent: Price points in e-commerce," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 12-27.
    2. Daniel Levy & Dongwon Lee & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Robert J. Kauffman & Mark Bergen, 2011. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1417-1431, November.
    3. Stiving, Mark & Winer, Russell S, 1997. " An Empirical Analysis of Price Endings with Scanner Data," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 57-67, June.
    4. James Cui, 2007. "QIC program and model selection in GEE analyses," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(2), pages 209-220, June.
    5. Baltagi, Badi H. & Wu, Ping X., 1999. "Unequally Spaced Panel Data Regressions With Ar(1) Disturbances," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(06), pages 814-823, December.
    6. Kaushik Basu, 2006. "Consumer Cognition and Pricing in the Nines in Oligopolistic Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 125-141, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    price ending; field experiment; pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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