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Rebates, Matches, and Consumer Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Douglas D. Davis

    (Department of Economics, Virginia Commonwealth University)

  • Edward L. Millner

    (Department of Economics, Virginia Commonwealth University)

Abstract

An experiment conducted to examine the effects of different discount formats on consumer purchases is reported. Participants made a series of purchase decisions for chocolate bars given (1) “rebates” from the listed price, (2) “matching” quantities of chocolates for each bar purchased, and (3) simple price reductions. Contrary to standard theoretical predictions, and consistent with results in the context of charitable contributions by Eckel and Grossman (2003), we find that participants purchase significantly more chocolate bars under a “matching” sales format than under a comparable “rebate” format. Inattention to the net consequences of decisions, as well as some “rebate aversion,” explain the preference for matching discounts.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas D. Davis & Edward L. Millner, 2005. "Rebates, Matches, and Consumer Behavior," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 410-421, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:2:y:2005:p:410-421
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2004. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 93-114, February.
    2. Glenn W. Harrison & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutstr–m, 2004. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 123-140, June.
    3. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    4. Douglas Davis & Edward Millner & Robert Reilly, 2005. "Subsidy Schemes and Charitable Contributions: A Closer Look," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(2), pages 85-106, June.
    5. Glenn W. Harrison & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutstr–m, 2004. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 123-140, June.
    6. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
    7. Raymond Battalio & Leonard Green & John Kagel, 1995. "Economic choice theory. an experimental analysis of animal behavior," Framed Field Experiments 00166, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. Elizabeth Hoffman & Dale J. Menkhaus & Dipankar Chakravarti & Ray A. Field & Glen D. Whipple, 1993. "Using Laboratory Experimental Auctions in Marketing Research: A Case Study of New Packaging for Fresh Beef," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(3), pages 318-338.
    9. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Axsen, Jonn & Mountain, Dean C. & Jaccard, Mark, 2009. "Combining stated and revealed choice research to simulate the neighbor effect: The case of hybrid-electric vehicles," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 221-238, August.
    2. Lisa Bruttel, 2013. "Is there an Exclusionary Effect of Retroactive Price Reduction Schemes?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-21, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    3. Kimberley Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2015. "The price elasticity of charitable giving: does the form of tax relief matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(2), pages 330-352, April.
    4. Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Details Matter: The Impact of Presentation and Information on the Take-Up of Financial Incentives for Retirement Saving," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 204-228, February.
    5. Roman M. Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2016. "The Impact of Taxes and Wasteful Government Spending on Giving," Working Papers 16-07, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    6. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2005. "Subsidizing charitable contributions: A field test comparing matching and rebate subsidies," Framed Field Experiments 00145, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. repec:eee:jeeman:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:209-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Nelson, Katherine M. & Schlüter, Achim & Vance, Colin, 2016. "Funding conservation locally: Insights from behavioral experiments in Indonesia," Ruhr Economic Papers 652, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Johannes Diederich & Timo Goeschl, 2013. "To Give or Not to Give: The Price of Contributing and the Provision of Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 19332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Eckel, Catherine & Grossman, Philip J., 2017. "Comparing rebate and matching subsidies controlling for donors’ awareness: Evidence from the field," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 88-95.
    11. Scharf, Kimberley & Smith, Sarah L., 2010. "Rational Inattention to Subsidies for Charitable Contributions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Neslihan Uler, 2011. "Public goods provision, inequality and taxes," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 287-306, September.
    13. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2006. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions in the Field: Evidence from a Non-Secular Charity," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-44, Monash University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory

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