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Price framing

  • Huck, Steffen
  • Schmid, Julia
  • Wallace, Brian

We present a laboratory experiment on the impact of price framing on consumer decision making. Consumer subjects face a search market where two sellers offer a homogenous good. We examine six different price frames with linear per-unit pricing (that is displayed as such) serving as a benchmark. We find that all frames deviating from the benchmark have some negative impact on consumer decision making. The most striking result concerns drip pricing (where prices are decomposed into three elements and dripped in during the purchasing process). While leaving the actual decision problem unchanged, drip pricing wipes out 25% of consumer surplus.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change with number SP II 2013-314.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2013314
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  1. Armstrong, Mark & Zhou, Jidong, 2010. "Conditioning prices on search behaviour," MPRA Paper 19985, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Timothy N. Cason & Daniel Friedman, 2000. "Buyer Search and Price Dispersion: A Laboratory Study," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1549, Econometric Society.
  3. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
  4. Ioana Chioveanu & Jidong Zhou, 2012. "Price Competition and Consumer Confusion," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 12-08, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  5. Biswas, Abhijit & Wilson, Elizabeth J. & Licata, Jane W., 1993. "Reference pricing studies in marketing: A synthesis of research results," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 239-256, July.
  6. John Morgan & Tanjim Hossain, 2006. "...plus shipping and handling: Revenue (non) equivalence in field experiments on ebay," Natural Field Experiments 00270, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Fiona Scott Morton & Florian Zettelmeyer & Jorge Silva-Risso, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 501-519 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jennifer Brown & Tanjim Hossain & John Morgan, 2010. "Shrouded Attributes and Information Suppression: Evidence from the Field," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 859-876, May.
  9. Yannis Bakos, 2001. "The Emerging Landscape for Retail E-Commerce," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 69-80, Winter.
  10. Lynn, Michael, 1989. "Scarcity effects on desirability: Mediated by assumed expensiveness?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 257-274, June.
  11. Morton, Fiona Scott & Zettelmeyer, Florian & Silva-Risso, Jorge, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 501-19, December.
  12. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
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