NBER

Diego Aparicio, Roberto Rigobon

Bibliographic Information

NBER Working Paper No. 26646
Issued in January 2020
NBER Program(s):IFM, ME

Available Formats

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Abstract

This paper studies pricing in the fashion retail industry. Online data was collected for approximately 350,000 distinct products from over 65 retailers in the U.S. and the U.K. We present evidence that a fair fraction of retailers implement an extreme form of price stickiness that we describe as quantum prices: a large number of different products are priced using just a small number of sparse prices, with price changes occurring rarely and in large increments. Normalized price clustering measures are used to show that retailers use quantum prices within- and across- categories, and this clustering is not explained by popular prices, ranges of prices, assortment size, or digit endings. This pricing strategy is consistent with a behavioral model where fewer prices makes price advertising more effective. An implication of this model is that advertising is increasingly effective when the same prices are used across product lines, i.e. for new products. Finally, quantum prices affect product introductions and price adjustment strategies at the firm level, while it creates larger deviations of the law of one price and hinders the computation of inflation at the macro level.

National Bureau of Economic Research
1050 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-868-3900
info@nber.org

Twitter RSS

View Full Site: One timeAlways