Consumer Inattention and Bill-Shock Regulation
For many goods and services, such as cellular-phone service and debit-card transactions, the price of the next unit of service depends on past usage. As a result, consumers who are inattentive to their past usage but are aware of contract terms may remain uncertain about the price of the next unit. I develop a model of inattentive consumption, derive equilibrium pricing when consumers are inattentive, and evaluate bill-shock regulation requiring firms to disclose information that substitutes for attention. When inattentive consumers are heterogeneous and unbiased, bill-shock regulation reduces social welfare in fairly-competitive markets, which may be the effect of the FCC's recent bill-shock agreement. If inattentive consumers underestimate their demand, however, then bill-shock regulation can lower market prices and protect consumers from exploitation. Hence the Federal Reserve's new opt-in rule for debit-card overdraft protection may substantially benefit consumers.
|Date of creation:||03 Jul 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published, Review of Economic Studies, 2015, 82:1, 219-257|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006.
"Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
- Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2005. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 11755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Spiegler, Ran, 2014.
"Bounded Rationality and Industrial Organization,"
Oxford University Press, number 9780199334261, March.
- Koichiro Ito, 2014.
"Do Consumers Respond to Marginal or Average Price? Evidence from Nonlinear Electricity Pricing,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 537-63, February.
- Koichiro Ito, 2012. "Do Consumers Respond to Marginal or Average Price? Evidence from Nonlinear Electricity Pricing," NBER Working Papers 18533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edlin, Aaron S. & Shannon, Chris, 1998.
"Strict Monotonicity in Comparative Statics,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 201-219, July.
- Miao, Chun-Hui, 2010. "Consumer myopia, standardization and aftermarket monopolization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 931-946, October.
- Courty, Pascal & Li, Hao, 2000.
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 697-717, October.
- Michael D. Grubb, 2009.
"Selling to Overconfident Consumers,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1770-1807, December.
- Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:828. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.