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Prices and Coupons for Breakfast Cereals

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  • Aviv Nevo
  • Catherine Wolfram

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between shelf prices and manufacturers' coupons for 25 ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Contrary to the predictions of static monopoly price discrimination, we find the shelf prices for a particular brand in a particular city are generally lower during periods when coupons are available. We find evidence that is also inconsistent with dynamic theories of pricing that predict lower prices and coupons after periods of low demand, and find little support for explanations of couponing based on the vertical relationship between manufacturers and retailers. We find some support for models of price discrimination in oligopoly settings that suggest inter-brand competition can cause all prices to be lower than the uniform (non-discriminatory) price. We also find some evidence suggesting that firm-wide incentives may induce managers to use coupons and price cuts simultaneously in order, for example, to meet market share targets.

Suggested Citation

  • Aviv Nevo & Catherine Wolfram, 1999. "Prices and Coupons for Breakfast Cereals," NBER Working Papers 6932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6932
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marko Ogorevc & Miroslav VerbiÄ, 2013. "Ownership and wages: spatial econometric approach," International Journal of Sustainable Economy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(2), pages 207-224.
    2. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    3. David Weiskopf, 2000. "The Impact of Omitting Promotion Variables on Simulation Experiments," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 159-166.
    4. Price, Gregory K. & Connor, John M., 2002. "The Determinants Of Coupon Discounts For Breakfast Cereals," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19838, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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