Sarah Moshary

University of Chicago
Booth School of Business
5807 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020How and When to Use the Political Cycle to Identify Advertising Effects
with Bradley T. Shapiro, Jihong Song: w27349
A central challenge in estimating the causal effect of TV advertising on demand is isolating quasi-random variation in advertising. Political advertising, which topped $14 billion in expenditures in 2016, has been proposed as a plausible source of such variation and thus a candidate for an instrumental variable. We provide a critical evaluation of how and where this instrument is valid and useful across categories. We characterize the conditions under which political cycles theoretically identify the causal effect of TV advertising on demand, highlight threats to the exclusion restriction and monotonicity condition, and suggest a specification to address the most serious concerns. We test the strength of the first stage category-by-category for 274 product categories. For most categories, ...
April 2020Market Structure and Product Assortment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Liquor Licensure
with Gastón Illanes: w27016
We examine how market structure, measured as the number of firms, affects prices, quantities, product assortment, and consumer surplus. Our analysis exploits Washington’s deregulation of spirit sales, which generated exogenous variation in market structure across the state. Consistent with the uniform pricing literature, we find no effect of increased competition on prices. Rather, we document an expansion of product assortment, which in turn increases purchasing. Using a discrete-choice demand model, we estimate that wider assortments increase consumer surplus by $3.20/month when moving from monopoly to duopoly. However, the likelihood that a household engages in heavy drinking, as defined by the CDC, increases by 5.6 percentage points, raising concerns about social welfare.
October 2018Price Salience and Product Choice
with Thomas Blake, Kane Sweeney, Steven Tadelis: w25186
We study the effect of price salience on whether a product is purchased and, conditional on purchase, the quality purchased. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, we find that making the full purchase price salient to consumers reduces both the quality and quantity of goods purchased. The effect of salience on quality accounts for at least 28% of the overall revenue decline. Evidence shows that the effects persist beyond the first purchase and impact even experienced users. Detailed click-stream data shows that price-obfuscation makes price comparisons difficult and results in consumers spending more than they otherwise would. We also find that sellers respond to the increased price obfuscation by listing higher quality tickets.

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