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Wintertime for Deceptive Advertising?

Jonathan Zinman () and Eric Zitzewitz ()

No 17829, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Casual empiricism suggests that deceptive advertising about product quality is prevalent, and several classes of theories explore its causes and consequences. We provide some unusually sharp empirical evidence on the extent, mechanics, and dynamics of deceptive advertising. Ski resorts self-report substantially more natural snowfall on weekends. Resorts that plausibly reap greater benefits from exaggerating do it more. Data on website visits suggests that consumers are appropriately skeptical of weekend reports. We find little evidence that competition restrains or encourages exaggeration. Near the end of our sample period, a new iPhone application feature makes it easier for skiers share information on ski conditions in real time. Exaggeration falls sharply, especially at resorts with better iPhone reception.

JEL-codes: D82 D83 K29 L15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mkt
Date: 2012-02
Note: LE
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Published as Jonathan Zinman & Eric Zitzewitz, 2016. "Wintertime for Deceptive Advertising?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 177-92, January.

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