Psychological Prices and Price Rigidity in Grocery Retailing: Analysis of German Scanner Data
A substantial degree of price rigidity has been reported for branded foods in various studies with scanner data. One possible explanation for price rigidity is the existence of psychological pricing points. We analyze to which extent psychological pricing plays a role in grocery retailing and whether it contributes to price rigidity of branded foods in Germany. Psychological pricing defined here as just-below-the-round-figure-pricing is empirically analyzed with scanner data of weekly prices for 20 food brands in 38 retail outlets from September 1996 to June 1999. Psychological pricing turned out to be extremely important in German food retailing. Branded food prices are remarkably sticky and psychological pricing points contribute strongly to price rigidity. Other factors like the sales phenomenon and firm-specific effects are additionally important.
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