Reference Price Research: Review and Propositions

Mazumdar, Tridib; Raj, S. P.; Sinha, Indrajit
October 2005
Journal of Marketing;Oct2005, Vol. 69 Issue 4, p84
Academic Journal
A substantial body of research evidence has now accumulated in the reference price literature. One stream of research has identified the antecedents of reference price and has assessed their effects through experimentation. Others have calibrated a variety of reference price models on panel data and reported the effects on brand choice and other purchase decisions. In this article, the authors review the published literature on reference price in both the behavioral and modeling streams. They offer an integrative framework to review prior research on (1) the formation of reference price, (2) retrieval and use of reference price, and (3) influences of reference price on various purchase decisions and evaluations. In doing so, the authors examine the influences of consumers' prior purchase history and contextual moderators, such as specific purchase occasions, promotional environment of the store, and product category characteristics. They summarize the key findings, identify the unresolved issues, and offer an agenda for further research, which includes a set of testable propositions. They also identify the methodological challenges that face reference price research. In the concluding section, the authors discuss the managerial implications of reference price research.


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