Theses Doctoral

Persistence in Consumer Search

Reinholtz, Nicholas Stephen

In this dissertation, I explore determinants, and some consequences, of persistence in consumer search. Many prominent thinkers have considered the problem of search in terms of optimal solutions, or their heuristic approximations. In the following research, I explore persistence in search not merely as a function of economic calibration, but rather as an outcome determined by both cognitive and motivational processes. I provide evidence that normative models of search are insufficient to explain the behavior of those whom I study. Instead, I show cases in which search persistence is a function of prior behavior (Chapter 1) and prior beliefs (Chapter 2). I further propose a cognitive model of price search behavior (Chapter 3) that can predict many of the observed behaviors that would be considered mistakes in normative price search frameworks (e.g., variance neglect, reference point effects, local contrast effects).


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Levav, Jonathan
Netzer, Oded
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
November 12, 2014