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Why Are Products Sold on Sale?: Explanations of Pricing Regularities

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  • B. Peter Pashigian
  • Brian Bowen

Abstract

This paper reports on interesting changes in markdown pricing practices over time and differences in the pricing within a product line. The price discrimination and the uncertainty hypotheses appear to better explain the data than the peak load hypothesis. Fashion has become more important over time and appears to explain the greater seasonal variation in retail apparel prices in recent years. Differences in uncertainty also explains differences in the pricing of different types of men's dress shirts.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Peter Pashigian & Brian Bowen, 1991. "Why Are Products Sold on Sale?: Explanations of Pricing Regularities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1015-1038.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:4:p:1015-1038.
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    1. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:55:y:2004:i:8:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2601749 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Daniel Levy & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Georg Müller & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2010. "Holiday Price Rigidity and Cost of Price Adjustment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 172-198, January.
    4. Wedad Elmaghraby & Altan Gülcü & P{i}nar Keskinocak, 2008. "Designing Optimal Preannounced Markdowns in the Presence of Rational Customers with Multiunit Demands," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(1), pages 126-148, June.
    5. Antonio Rosato, 2016. "Selling substitute goods to loss-averse consumers: limited availability, bargains, and rip-offs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(3), pages 709-733, August.
    6. Aviv Nevo & Konstantinos Hatzitaskos, 2005. "Why Does the Average Price of Tuna Fall During Lent?," NBER Working Papers 11572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Eric T. Anderson & Duncan I. Simester, 1998. "The Role of Sale Signs," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(2), pages 139-155.
    8. Georg Muller & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2006. "Private label price rigidity during holiday periods," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 57-62.
    9. Georg Mueller & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2006. "Holiday Nonprice Rigidity and Cost of Adjustment," Emory Economics 0612, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    10. Ş. Akın & Brennan Platt, 2014. "A theory of search with deadlines and uncertain recall," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 101-133, January.
    11. Tom S. Lee & I.P.L. Png, 2004. "Loss Leaders: An Indirect Empirical Test," Industrial Organization 0401008, EconWPA.
    12. Markus Mobius & Raphael Schoenle, 2006. "The Evolution of Work," Working Papers 25, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    13. Georg Müller & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2007. "Non-price rigidity and cost of adjustment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 817-832.
    14. Courty, Pascal & Li, Hao, 1999. "Timing of Seasonal Sales," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(4), pages 545-572, October.
    15. Mantrala, Murali K. & Raman, Kalyan, 1999. "Demand uncertainty and supplier's returns policies for a multi-store style-good retailer," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 270-284, June.
    16. Eyal Biyalogorsky & Eitan Gerstner, 2004. "Contingent Pricing to Reduce Price Risks," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 146-155, March.
    17. repec:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:604:p:2216-2239 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Loy, Jens-Peter & Weaver, Robert D., 2003. "Retail Sales: Do They Mean Reduced Expenditures? German Grocery Evidence," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25914, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    19. Tim Willems, 2017. "Actively Learning by Pricing: A Model of an Experimenting Seller," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2216-2239, September.
    20. Kosová, Renáta & Lafontaine, Francine, 2012. "Much ado about chains: A research agenda," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 303-308.
    21. Rui Yin & Yossi Aviv & Amit Pazgal & Christopher S. Tang, 2009. "Optimal Markdown Pricing: Implications of Inventory Display Formats in the Presence of Strategic Customers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(8), pages 1391-1408, August.
    22. Wedad Elmaghraby & P{i}nar Keskinocak, 2003. "Dynamic Pricing in the Presence of Inventory Considerations: Research Overview, Current Practices, and Future Directions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(10), pages 1287-1309, October.
    23. Medina, Sara & Ward, Ronald W., 1999. "A Model Of Retail Outlet Selection For Beef," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 2(02).
    24. Gonca P. Soysal & Lakshman Krishnamurthi, 2012. "Demand Dynamics in the Seasonal Goods Industry: An Empirical Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 293-316, March.

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