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Strategic Obfuscation and Retail Pricing

Bonnet, Céline, Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra, Klein, Gordon and Richards, Timothy J. (2016) Strategic Obfuscation and Retail Pricing. TSE Working Paper, n. 16-733, Toulouse

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Retailers often stock items that are only slightly differentiated from others??differ- ent sizes of a popular brand, or different ?avors in a common product line for instance. We argue that this practice is a form of strategic obfuscation, intended to raise con- sumer search costs, and margins on non-comparable products. We test our hypothesis using examples from several product categories in German and French retail scanner data. We ?nd that, after controlling for other explanations for how margins can vary with package size, we cannot rule out strategic obfuscation as a feature of our retail sales data.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: November 2016
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Uncontrolled Keywords: differentiation, price discrimination, retail pricing, search model, strategic obfuscation
JEL Classification: D43 - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
M31 - Marketing
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Universite Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 08:13
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2021 15:54
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