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Pricing and Information Disclosure in Markets with Loss-Averse Consumers

  • Karle, Heiko
  • Peitz, Martin

Abstract: We develop a theory of imperfect competition with loss-averse consumers. All consumers are fully informed about match value and price at the time they make their purchasing decision. However, a share of consumers are initially uncertain about their tastes and form a reference point consisting of an expected match value and an expected price distribution, while other consumers are perfectly informed all the time. We derive pricing implications in duopoly with asymmetric ?rms. In particular, we show that a market may exhibit more price variation the larger the share of uninformed, loss-averse consumers. We also derive implications for ?rm strategy and public policy concerning ?rms’ incentives to inform consumers about their match value prior to forming their reference point.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 312.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:312
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  1. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2006. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 689-714.
  2. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118, October.
  3. Zhou, Jidong, 2008. "Reference Dependence and Market Competition," MPRA Paper 9370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Karle, Heiko & Peitz, Martin, 2010. "Consumer Loss Aversion and the Intensity of Competition," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 319, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Anderson, Simon P & Renault, Regis, 2000. "Consumer Information and Firm Pricing: Negative Externalities from Improved Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 721-42, August.
  6. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 11043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Armstrong, Mark & Chen, Yongmin, 2007. "Inattentive Consumers and Product Quality," MPRA Paper 4797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Michael D. Grubb, 2006. "Selling to Overconfident Consumers," Discussion Papers 06-018, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. repec:bla:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:3:p:689-714 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Paul Wachtel & Rainer Haselmann, 2007. "Risk Taking by Banks in the Transition Countries," Working Papers 07-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  12. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-68, September.
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