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Creating Attachment through Advertising: Loss Aversion and Pre–Purchase Information



Complementing the existing literature on anchoring effects and loss aversion, we analyze how firms can influence loss–averse consumers’ willingness to pay by product information in the form of informative advertising rather than by prices. We find that consumers’ willingness to pay is greatest when only partial information about the product—i.e. only a fraction of product attributes—is disclosed, and that partial information disclosure is the optimal mode of advertising for a monopolistic firm. This causes the consumers’ realized product valuation to diverge from their intrinsic product valuation, which leads to a reduction of consumer surplus. Consequently, transparency policies can help to protect consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Heiko Karle, 2013. "Creating Attachment through Advertising: Loss Aversion and Pre–Purchase Information," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 13/177, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:13-177

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    Cited by:

    1. Heiko Karle & Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Peitz, 2015. "Loss Aversion and Consumption Choice: Theory and Experimental Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 101-120, May.
    2. Karle, Heiko & Peitz, Martin, 2017. "De-targeting: Advertising an assortment of products to loss-averse consumers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 103-124.
    3. Michael D. Grubb, 2015. "Behavioral Consumers in Industrial Organization," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 879, Boston College Department of Economics.
    4. Herweg, Fabian & Karle, Heiko & Müller, Daniel, 2014. "Incomplete Contracting, Renegotiation, and Expectation-Based Loss Aversion," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 454, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    5. Antonio Rosato, 2016. "Selling substitute goods to loss-averse consumers: limited availability, bargains, and rip-offs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(3), pages 709-733, August.
    6. Heiko Karle & Martin Peitz, 2014. "Competition under consumer loss aversion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(1), pages 1-31, March.
    7. Carbajal, Juan Carlos & Ely, Jeffrey C., 2016. "A model of price discrimination under loss aversion and state-contingent reference points," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), May.
    8. Simon Dato & Andreas Grunewald & Daniel Müller, 2015. "Expectation-Based Loss Aversion and Strategic Interaction," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse02_2015, University of Bonn, Germany.
    9. Dato, Simon & Müller, Daniel & Grunewald, Andreas, 2015. "Expectation-Based Loss Aversion and Strategic Interaction," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112947, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item


    Advertising; Loss Aversion; Information Disclosure.;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising

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