Wintertime for Deceptive Advertising?

37 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2012

See all articles by Jonathan Zinman

Jonathan Zinman

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

Eric Zitzewitz

Dartmouth College; NBER

Date Written: February 2012

Abstract

Casual empiricism suggests that deceptive advertising about product quality 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 substantially more natural snowfall on weekends. Resorts that plausibly reap greater benefits from exaggerating do it more. Data on website visits suggests that consumers are appropriately skeptical of weekend reports. We find little evidence that competition restrains or encourages exaggeration. Near the end of our sample period, a new iPhone application feature makes it easier for skiers share information on ski conditions in real time. Exaggeration falls sharply, especially at resorts with better iPhone reception.

Suggested Citation

Zinman, Jonathan and Zitzewitz, Eric W., Wintertime for Deceptive Advertising? (February 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17829. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002581

Jonathan Zinman (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-0075 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.dartmouth.edu/jzinman/

Innovations for Poverty Action

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
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

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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