Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1427490
 


 



Snowed: Deceptive Advertising by Ski Resorts


Jonathan Zinman


Dartmouth College; Innovations for Poverty Action; Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Eric Zitzewitz


Dartmouth College; NBER

June 29, 2009


Abstract:     
Casual empiricism suggests that deceptive advertising is prevalent, and several classes of theories explore its causes and consequences. We provide some unusually sharp empirical evidence on the extent, mechanics, and dynamics of deceptive advertising. Ski resorts self-report 23 percent more snowfall on weekends; there is no such weekend effect in government precipitation data. Resorts that plausibly reap greater benefits from exaggerating do it more. We find little evidence that competition restrains or encourages exaggeration. Near the end of our sample period, we observe a shock to the information environment: a new iPhone application feature makes it easier for skiers to comment on resort ski conditions in real time. Exaggeration falls sharply, especially at resorts where iPhones can get reception.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: false advertising, misleading advertising, bait and switch, search costs, quality disclosure, product information, Internet

JEL Classification: D83, M37, K29, L50, L83

working papers series


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Date posted: June 30, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Zinman, Jonathan and Zitzewitz, Eric, Snowed: Deceptive Advertising by Ski Resorts (June 29, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1427490 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1427490

Contact Information

Jonathan Zinman
Dartmouth College ( email )
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-0075 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jzinman/
Innovations for Poverty Action
New Haven, CT
United States
Jameel Poverty Action Lab
E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Eric W. Zitzewitz (Contact Author)
Dartmouth College ( email )
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2891 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ericz
NBER ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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