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Consumers’ Reactions To Negative Information On Product Quality: Evidence From Scanner Data

  • Maria De Paola


  • Vincenzo Scoppa


    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

We analyze consumers’ reactions to negative information on product quality using daily scanner data at item level from a well-known supermarket chain. We focus on a fraud that in 2008 has involved a number of Italian leading firms in the cheese sector. Exploiting the fact that only some brands were mentioned by the media as being involved in the fraud, we adopt a difference-in-differences estimation strategy and evaluate the effects of the negative media coverage comparing changes in sales for involved and for not involved brands. It emerges that the negative news on product quality have induced consumers to shift their demand from involved to not involved brands. These effects persist overtime, also once the media was no more giving attention to the issue. Retailers have suffered part of the costs deriving from the diffusion of bad news on product quality: the margin gained on brands directly mentioned by media has decreased after the negative publicity.

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Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) in its series Working Papers with number 201012.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201012
Contact details of provider: Postal: Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
Phone: +39 0984 492413
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