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Sales, Quantity Surcharge, and Consumer Inattention

  • Clerides, Sofronis
  • Courty, Pascal

Quantity surcharges occur when firms market a product in two sizes and offer a promotion on the small size: the large size then costs more per unit than the small one. When quantity surcharges occur the sales of the large size decrease only slightly despite the fact that the small size is a cheaper option - a clear arbitrage opportunity. This behavior is consistent with the notion of rationally inattentive consumers that has been developed in models of information frictions. We discuss implications for consumer decision making, demand estimation, and firm pricing.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8115.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8115
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  1. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2007. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  3. Hossain Tanjim & Morgan John, 2006. "...Plus Shipping and Handling: Revenue (Non) Equivalence in Field Experiments on eBay," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, January.
  4. Michelle Sovinsky Goeree, 2005. "Advertising in the US Personal Computer Industry," Industrial Organization 0503002, EconWPA.
  5. Erdem, Tulin & Imai, Susumu & Keane, Michael, 2003. "Brand and Quantity Choice Dynamics Under Price Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 52516, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Bentzen, Jan & Engsted, Tom, 1993. "Short- and long-run elasticities in energy demand : A cointegration approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 9-16, January.
  7. Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
  8. Berck, Peter & Brown, Jennifer & Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Villas-Boas, Sofia B, 2007. "Sales : tests of theories on causality and timing," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1031, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  9. Michelle Sovinsky Goeree, 2008. "Limited Information and Advertising in the U.S. Personal Computer Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(5), pages 1017-1074, 09.
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