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Packaging of Sin Goods - Commitment or Exploitation?

  • Julia Nafziger

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

I consider the shopping and consumption decision of an individual with a self-control problem. The consumer believes that restricting the consumption of a sinful product (such as chips) is in his long-run interest. But when facing the actual decision he is tempted to overeat. I ask how fims react to such self-control problems, and possibly exploit them, by offering different package sizes. In a competitive market, either one or three (small, medium and large) packages are offered. In contrast to common intuition, the large, and not the small package is a commitment device. The latter serves to exploit the naive consumer.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/14/wp14_05.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2014-05.

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Length: 16
Date of creation: 23 Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2014-05
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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  1. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2010. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 32-63, August.
  3. Sanjay Jain, 2012. "Marketing of Vice Goods: A Strategic Analysis of the Package Size Decision," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(1), pages 36-51, January.
  4. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2004. "Contracting with Diversely Naïve Agents," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000530, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Stefano Della Vigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2004. "Contract Design and Self-control: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 353-402, May.
  6. Esteban, Susanna & Miyagawa, Eiichi & Shum, Matthew, 2003. "Nonlinear Pricing with Self-Control Preferences," Working Papers 10-03-1, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Lee, Helen, 2012. "The role of local food availability in explaining obesity risk among young school-aged children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1193-1203.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Meer & Neva K. Novarro, 2012. "Do Consumers Exploit Precommitment Opportunities? Evidence from Natural Experiments Involving Liquor Consumption," NBER Working Papers 17762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Esteban, Susanna & Miyagawa, Eiichi, 2006. "Temptation, self-control, and competitive nonlinear pricing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 348-355, March.
  10. Klaus Wertenbroch, 1998. "Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(4), pages 317-337.
  11. Daniel Gottlieb, 2008. "Competition over Time-Inconsistent Consumers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 673-684, 08.
  12. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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