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Preference for Variety

  • Karen Kaiser
  • Rainer Schwabe

We consider a decision maker who enjoys choosing from a varied set of alternatives. Building on behavioral evidence, we propose testable axioms which characterize preference for variety, and provide a representation theorem. We go on to illustrate the potential effects of preference for variety in a model of retailing. Consumer welfare may be decreasing in the competitiveness of the retailing sector as competition eliminates the scope for retailers to offer variety. Mainstream consumers with a preference for variety and consumers with eccentric tastes enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Competition over mainstream consumers makes retailers offer more exotic goods, while eccentric consumers subsidize their carrying costs.

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File URL: http://www.banxico.org.mx/publicaciones-y-discursos/publicaciones/documentos-de-investigacion/banxico/%7BBA1A0600-1D95-8A7D-B03B-EF46B236CC9E%7D.pdf
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Paper provided by Banco de México in its series Working Papers with number 2011-13.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2011-13
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.banxico.org.mx

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  1. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Temptation–Driven Preferences," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-024, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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  12. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
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  15. Timothy J. Richards & Stephen F. Hamilton, 2006. "Rivalry in Price and Variety among Supermarket Retailers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(3), pages 710-726.
  16. Sunder Kekre & Kannan Srinivasan, 1990. "Broader Product Line: A Necessity to Achieve Success?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(10), pages 1216-1232, October.
  17. ANDERSON, Simon P. & DE PALMA, André & NESTEROV, Yurii, 1994. "Oligopolistic Competition and the Optimal Provision of Products," CORE Discussion Papers 1994034, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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