Relationship Between Partial and Total Responses to Advertising with Application to U.S. Meats
Buse’s concept of total response is extended to advertising effects. Results suggest that partial advertising elasticities overstate advertising’s ability to increase market demand. One implication is that advertising bans (e.g., for alcohol and tobacco) are apt to be less effective than indicated by partial advertising elasticities estimated from econometric models. Extending the concept of total response to price effects, the total advertising “flexibility” sets the lower bound on the optimal advertising-sales ratio and subsumes the Dorfman-Steiner and Nerlove-Waugh theorems as special cases. Applying the total flexibility concept to U.S. meats, results suggest the beef, pork and poultry industries are under-investing in advertising. However, in the case of beef this conclusion hinges on the assumption that retaliation by pork brand advertisers is minimal, which needs to be tested.
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