Pricing and Information Disclosure in Markets with Loss-Averse Consumers
ETH Zurich - Center for Law and Economics
University of Mannheim - Department of Economics
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7785
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 firms. 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 firm strategy and public policy concerning firms incentives to inform consumers about their match value prior to forming their reference point.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 54
Keywords: Advertising, Behavioral Industrial Organization, Imperfect Competition, Information Disclosure, Loss Aversion, Price Variation, Product Differentiation, Reference-Dependent Utility
JEL Classification: D83, L13, L41, M37
Date posted: May 19, 2010
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