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Persuading Consumers With Social Attitudes

  • Bühler, Stefan


  • Halbheer, Daniel


This paper analyzes persuasive advertising and pricing in oligopoly if firms sell differentiated products and consumers have heterogenous social attitudes towards the consumption by others. Deriving product demand from primitives, we show that the demand-enhancing effect of persuasive advertising varies across consumers and increases in the average degree of conformity. In equilibrium, both quality and cost leaders choose higher advertising intensities and charge higher prices than their competitors. In addition, we show that an increase in the average degree of conformity among consumers reinforces asymmetries between firms.

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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1117.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:17
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  6. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 2001. "Product Diversity in Asymmetric Oligopoly: Is the Quality of Consumer Goods Too Low?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 113-35, June.
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  8. Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Stevik, K., 1996. "Persuasive Advertising and Product Differentiation," Memorandum 01/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  9. Anette Boom & Pio Baake, . "Vertical Product Differentiation, Network Externalities, and Compatibility Decisions," Papers 010, Departmental Working Papers.
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  13. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
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  16. Peitz, Martin & Valletti, Tommaso, 2004. "Content and Advertising in the Media: Pay-TV versus Free-To-Air," CEPR Discussion Papers 4771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Athey, Susan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2001. "Investment and Market Dominance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
  18. Nitin Mehta & Xinlei (Jack) Chen & Om Narasimhan, 2008. "Informing, Transforming, and Persuading: Disentangling the Multiple Effects of Advertising on Brand Choice Decisions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(3), pages 334-355, 05-06.
  19. Kevin Lane Keller & Donald R. Lehmann, 2006. "Brands and Branding: Research Findings and Future Priorities," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(6), pages 740-759, 11-12.
  20. Mark B. Vandenbosch & Charles B. Weinberg, 1995. "Product and Price Competition in a Two-Dimensional Vertical Differentiation Model," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(2), pages 224-249.
  21. Bloch, Francis & Manceau, Delphine, 1999. "Persuasive advertising in Hotelling's model of product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 557-574, May.
  22. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
  23. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2010. "Persuasion and empathy in salesperson-customer interactions," NBER Working Papers 15975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
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