The Taste for Variety: A Hedonic Analysis
Based on the model of consumers' variety-seeking behavior introduced by Anderson et al. (1992), this paper derives a hedonic price function for a households' consumption bundle. The price a consumer pays for her consumption bundle reflects the values of the underlying attributes of goods purchased but also accounts for any preference for variety that she might have. The empirical analysis is conducted for 3,240 German households and their expenditure on 182 different soft drinks over a six-month period. We find that consumers have a preference for variety in food consumption, ceteris paribus. Furthermore, the per-unit price is found to be significantly larger for higher income households, as well as households where the principal wage earner has a high level of education. Larger households tend to spend less on soft drinks per unit.
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