Do Pharmacists Buy Bayer? Sophisticated Shoppers and the Brand Premium

Kilts Center for Marketing at Chicago Booth – Nielsen Dataset Paper Series. 1-017

Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 14-17

46 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2014

See all articles by Bart J. Bronnenberg

Bart J. Bronnenberg

Tilburg University, CentER

Jean-Pierre Dubé

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew Gentzkow

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jesse M. Shapiro

Brown University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

We estimate the effect of information on consumers’ willingness to pay for branded goods in physically homogeneous consumer packaged goods categories. In a case study of headache remedies, we find that college education, working in a healthcare occupation, and other proxies for product knowledge predict more purchases of private labels relative to brands. Pharmacists devote almost 90 percent of headache remedy purchases to private labels, against 71 percent for the average consumer. The effect of knowledge is similar across a broad set of health products, and in a set of relatively homogeneous food products, but smaller for food and drink products overall. We conclude that a significant share of the willingness to pay for brands in these categories would disappear in a world where consumers were fully informed.

Keywords: branding, private label, painkillers

JEL Classification: D12, D83, L66

Suggested Citation

Bronnenberg, Bart J. and Dube, Jean-Pierre H. and Gentzkow, Matthew Aaron and Shapiro, Jesse M., Do Pharmacists Buy Bayer? Sophisticated Shoppers and the Brand Premium (June 1, 2013). Kilts Center for Marketing at Chicago Booth – Nielsen Dataset Paper Series. 1-017; Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 14-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2460893 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2460893

Bart J. Bronnenberg

Tilburg University, CentER ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5037 AB
Netherlands
+31 13 466 8939 (Phone)
+31 13 466 8354 (Fax)

Jean-Pierre H. Dube (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gsb.uchicago.edu/fac/jean-pierre.dube

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Matthew Aaron Gentzkow

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jesse M. Shapiro

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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