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Sales, Quantity Surcharge, and Consumer Inattention

  • Sofronis Clerides
  • Pascal Courty

Quantity surcharges occur when firms market a product in two sizes and offer a promotion on the small size: the large size then costs more per unit than the small one. When quantity surcharges occur the sales of the large size decrease only slightly despite the fact that the small size is a cheaper option - a clear arbitrage opportunity. This behavior is consistent with the notion of rationally inattentive consumers that has been developed in models of information frictions. We discuss implications for consumer decision making, demand estimation, and firm pricing.

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Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 07-2010.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:07-2010
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  1. Tülin Erdem & Susumu Imai & Michael Keane, 2003. "Brand and Quantity Choice Dynamics Under Price Uncertainty," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-64, March.
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  4. Berck, Peter & Brown, Jennifer & Perloff, Jeffrey M & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2007. "Sales: Tests of Theories on Causality and Timing," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt2g56n1jk, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  5. Michelle Sovinsky Goeree, 2008. "Limited Information and Advertising in the U.S. Personal Computer Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(5), pages 1017-1074, 09.
  6. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2007. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 6243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Hossain Tanjim & Morgan John, 2006. "...Plus Shipping and Handling: Revenue (Non) Equivalence in Field Experiments on eBay," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, January.
  8. Bentzen, Jan & Engsted, Tom, 1993. "Short- and long-run elasticities in energy demand : A cointegration approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 9-16, January.
  9. Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
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