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Similarities and differences between stockpiling and reference effects


  • Robert Slonim

    (Discipline of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

  • Ellen Garbarino

    (Discipline of Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)


The correlation of past prices and demand is commonly attributed to reference effects. Although reference dependence is robust, support for loss aversion is mixed; some find demand more sensitive to price increases, consistent with loss aversion, others find no difference or greater sensitivity to price decreases. Stockpiling offers an explanation for these mixed findings. Combining theory, analytical models and simulations, stockpiling and reference dependence predict similar effects and the more stockable the product, the greater sensitivity of demand to price decreases, the opposite of loss aversion. We show that a model combining stockpiling and reference effects best aligns with previous findings and under what conditions each effect should dominate. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Slonim & Ellen Garbarino, 2009. "Similarities and differences between stockpiling and reference effects," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 351-371.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:30:y:2009:i:6:p:351-371 DOI: 10.1002/mde.1453

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Loy, Jens-Peter & Weiss, Christoph R. & Glauben, Thomas, 2016. "Asymmetric cost pass-through? Empirical evidence on the role of market power, search and menu costs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 184-192.
    2. Tülin Erdem & Michael Katz & Baohong Sun, 2010. "A simple test for distinguishing between internal reference price theories," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 303-332, September.

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