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An empirical test of the Theory of Sales: Do household storage constraints affect consumer and store behavior?

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  • David Bell

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  • Christian Hilber

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Abstract

We revisit and test Salop and Stiglitz (1982) Theory of Sales. Equilibrium comparative static predictions are that greater consumer storage constraints lead to: (1) higher average prices, (2) fewer promotions, and (3) shallower promotions. In equilibrium, price dispersion is nonlinear in storage constraints, first increasing then decreasing. Empirical estimates of storage constraints are developed for approximately 1,000 households using the American Housing Survey (1989), United States Census (1990), and Stanford Market Basket Database (1991–1993). We find consumers with greater storage constraints shop more often and purchase smaller quantities per visit; moreover, the comparative static predictions are supported and evidence consistent with the equilibrium dispersion prediction is observed. Estimated quantitative effects are economically important. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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  • David Bell & Christian Hilber, 2006. "An empirical test of the Theory of Sales: Do household storage constraints affect consumer and store behavior?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 87-117, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:4:y:2006:i:2:p:87-117
    DOI: 10.1007/s11129-006-8127-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Nava & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2014. "Sales And Collusion In A Market With Storage," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 791-832, June.
    2. Paul C. Cheshire & Christian A. L. Hilber & Ioannis Kaplanis, 2015. "Land use regulation and productivity—land matters: evidence from a UK supermarket chain," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 43-73.
    3. Nava, Francesco, 2006. "Sales and collusion in a market with storage," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 41959, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Takuya Satomura & Jaehwan Kim & Greg M. Allenby, 2011. "Multiple-Constraint Choice Models with Corner and Interior Solutions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(3), pages 481-490, 05-06.
    5. Jeonghye Choi & David R. Bell & Leonard M. Lodish, 2012. "Traditional and IS-Enabled Customer Acquisition on the Internet," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(4), pages 754-769, April.
    6. Paul C. Cheshire & Christian A. L. Hilber & Ioannis Kaplanis, 2012. "Evidence from a UK supermarket chain," Working Papers 2012/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

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