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Research Talk on Consumer Reactance to Conditional Discounts

Prof. Marco Bertini from ESADE Barcelona held a talk on consumer reactance to conditional discounts as part of our Department’s Research Seminar Series. The presented research suggests that discounts tied to non-monetary conditions in particular (such as completing a questionnaire or making a referral), while becoming increasingly popular with companies, can actually frustrate consumers. Even though conditional discounts are typically justified as a sharper means of price discrimination, they might thus backfire by creating reactance and consequently provoking consumer behaviors that harm a business. Bertini and colleagues show this effect in  a series of lab and field experiments: Reactance, while not affecting the use of the discount per se, can manifest precisely as a cut in spending as consumers retaliate by choosing fewer or cheaper options than they would in response to a standard (unconditional) discount.  

We thank Marco for his visit, and the inspiring talk and discussions. For information on the upcoming guest speakers at the Research Seminar Series, please check the agenda.



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