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Research Talk by Marco Bertini, ESADE, Barcelona (ES)

Marco Bertini from ESADE in 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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