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Behavioral Decision-Making: An Application to the Setting of Magazine Subscription Prices

  • Fiona Scott Morton
  • Sharon Oster
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    Using data from American magazines, we explore the relationship between subscription discounts and magazine characteristics. We focus in particular on those magazine features that might lead time-inconsistent consumers to wish to engage in commitment behavior. We find that for magazines whose payoff is in the future and/or that are meritorious for other reasons, subscription discounts are lower all else equal. This finding suggests that publishers may be able to set subscription prices in order to extract rents from consumers' willingness to tie their own hands in terms of their future reading.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10120.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10120.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10120
    Note: IO
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2000. "The Social Discount Rate," NBER Working Papers 7983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    3. Klaus Wertenbroch, 1998. "Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(4), pages 317-337.
    4. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharn, 2003. "Gender Differences in Trust and Reciprocity," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 875, The University of Melbourne.
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