IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Explicit Evidence of an Implicit Contract

Listed author(s):
  • Young, Andrew
  • Levy, Daniel

We offer the first direct evidence of an implicit contract in a goods market. The evidence comes from the market for Coca-Cola. We demonstrate that the Coca-Cola Company left a written evidence of its implicit contract with its consumers—a very explicit form of an implicit contract. The contract promised a 5¢ price and adherence to the “Secret Formula.” Because implicit contracts are unobservable, we adopt a narrative approach. Analyzing a large number of historical documents, we offer evidence of the Company both acknowledging and acting on this implicit contract. We explore quality as a margin of adjustment available to Coca-Cola. The implicit contract included a promise not only of a constant price but also a constant quality (the “real thing”). During a period of over 70 years, we find evidence of only a single case of true quality change. We demonstrate that the perceived costs of breaking the implicit contract were large.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49174/1/MPRA_paper_49174.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49174.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 19 Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49174
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window

  1. Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2004. ""The Real Thing:" Nominal Price Rigidity of the Nickel Coke, 1886-1959," Emory Economics 0405, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  2. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, January.
  3. Eckard, E. Woodrow, 2007. "Retail price concentration, transaction costs, and price flexibility circa 1900," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 131-153, January.
  4. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 2003. " Inflation and the Informativeness of Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(2), pages 177-196, April.
  5. Cabral, L.M.B., 2000. "Stretching Firm and Brand Reputation," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 00-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  6. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2002. "Price Flexibility in Channels of Distribution: Evidence from Scanner Data," Working Papers 2002-10, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  7. Avichai Snir & Daniel Levy, 2011. "Shrinking Goods and Sticky Prices: Theory and Evidence," Emory Economics 1104, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  8. Daniel Levy, 2007. "Price rigidity and flexibility: new empirical evidence," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 639-647.
  9. Matthew J. Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew T. Young, 2005. "Growth and Convergence across the US: Evidence from County-Level Data," Working Papers 2005-06, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  10. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Fair Pricing," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 952-981, October.
  11. Chen Zhen & Michael K. Wohlgenant & Shawn Karns & Phillip Kaufman, 2010. "Habit Formation and Demand for Sugar-Sweetened Beverages," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(1), pages 175-193.
  12. Margaret E. Slade & G.R.E.Q.A.M., 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107.
  13. Simon Hall & Mark Walsh & Anthony Yates, 1997. "How do UK companies set prices?," Bank of England working papers 67, Bank of England.
  14. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 1997. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U. S. Supermarket Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 791-824.
  15. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2005. "Customer anger at price increases, changes in the frequency of price adjustment and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 829-852, May.
  16. Ginsburgh, Victor & Michel, Philippe & Moes, Philippe, 1991. "Quantity adjustment costs and price stickiness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 121-125, June.
  17. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Mark Bils, 1989. "Pricing in a Customer Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 699-718.
  19. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  20. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
  21. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
  22. Romer, Christina D. & Romer, David H., 1994. "Monetary policy matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 75-88, August.
  23. Jean-Robert Tyran & Elke Renner, 2003. "Price Rigidity in Customer Markets," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2003 2003-16, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  24. Jean-Robert Tyran & Dirk Engelmann, 2005. "To Buy or Not to Buy? An Experimental Study of Consumer Boycotts in Retail Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(285), pages 1-16, 02.
  25. Durlauf, Steven N., 2001. "Manifesto for a growth econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 65-69, January.
  26. David Genesove, 1999. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," NBER Working Papers 7137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2009. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," NBER Working Papers 15255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Daniel Levy & Sourav Ray & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Mark Bergen, 2007. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Small," Emory Economics 0703, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  29. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-658, September.
  30. Andrew T. Young & Matthew J. Higgins & Daniel Levy, 2008. "Sigma Convergence versus Beta Convergence: Evidence from U.S. County-Level Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 1083-1093, 08.
  31. Sourav Ray & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Mark E. Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2006. "Asymmetric Wholesale Pricing: Theory and Evidence," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 131-154, 03-04.
  32. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Anil K. Kashyap, 1990. "Sticky prices: new evidence from retail catalogs," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 112, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  34. Daniel Levy & Frank Smets, 2010. "Price Setting and Price Adjustment in Some European Union Countries: Introduction to the Special Issue," Working Papers 2010-22, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  35. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Macroeconomics 0402020, EconWPA.
  36. Alexander L. Wolman, 2000. "The frequency and costs of individual price adjustments," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 1-22.
  37. Jonathan L. Willis, 2000. "Estimation of adjustment costs in a model of state-dependent pricing," Research Working Paper RWP 00-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  38. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84.
  39. Lester G. Telser, 1964. "Advertising and Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 537-537.
  40. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727.
  41. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K Kashyap, 2011. "Best Prices," NBER Working Papers 16680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Georg Müller & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2007. "Non-price rigidity and cost of adjustment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 817-832.
  43. John Leahy, 2011. "A Survey of New Keynesian Theories of Aggregate Supply and Their Relation to Industrial Organization," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 87-110, 08.
  44. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Robert Venable, 2005. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Macroeconomics 0505007, EconWPA.
  45. Alan Kackmeister, 2005. "Yesterday's bad times are today's good old times: retail price changes in the 1890s were smaller, less frequent, and more permanent," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  46. Daly, Herman E, 1970. "Some Observations on the Causes and Consequences of the Shortage of Change in Northeast Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 181-184, Jan.-Feb..
  47. Levy, Daniel & Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark, 2002. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Microlevel Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 197-220, February.
  48. Eric T. Anderson & Duncan I. Simester, 2010. "Price Stickiness and Customer Antagonism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 729-765.
  49. Andersen, Torben M & Toulemonde, Eric, 2004. "Adapting Prices or Quantities in the Presence of Adjustment Costs?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 177-196, April.
  50. Anil Kaul & Dick R. Wittink, 1995. "Empirical Generalizations About the Impact of Advertising on Price Sensitivity and Price," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages 151-160.
  51. Mark Bils, 1989. "Cyclical Pricing of Durable Goods," NBER Working Papers 3050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," NBER Working Papers 15826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  54. Jonathan L. Willis, 2003. "Implications of structural changes in the U.S. economy for pricing behavior and inflation dynamics," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 5-27.
  55. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, "undated". "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  56. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2007. "Sticky prices: why firms hesitate to adjust the price of their goods," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 13(Nov).
  57. Ricard Gil & Justin Marion, 2013. "Self-Enforcing Agreements and Relational Contracting: Evidence from California Highway Procurement," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 239-277, April.
  58. Ronen Bar-El & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Yossef Tobol, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility. Theory, Simulations and Evidence," Papers on Economics of Religion 10/03, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  59. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  60. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
  61. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2008. "Involuntary Integration in Public Education, Fertility and Human Capital," Working Papers 2008-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  62. Cason Timothy N. & Friedman Daniel, 2002. "A Laboratory Study of Customer Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-45, February.
  63. George J. Stigler & James K. Kindahl, 1970. "The Behavior of Industrial Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stig70-1.
  64. Leif Danziger, 2001. "Output and Welfare Effects of Inflation with Costly Price and Quantity Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1608-1620, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49174. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.