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An analysis of asymmetric demand response to price changes: The case of local telephone calls


Asymmetric demand responses to price changes are not an observable implication of classical demand theory, which predicts that consumers will react to a small price increase in much the same way as they do to a small price decrease. Yet applied researchers have long speculated that consumers are more sensitive to price increases than they are to price decreases. In addition, recent empirical studies generally support the theory of asymmetric demand responses. We construct a dynamic model based on data gathered from monthly telephone bills for 128 New York Telephone customers over a five-year period. Our results support the conclusion that customers react more quickly and strongly when prices go up than they do when prices go down.

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We would like to thank Manny Haas and Bernie Reddy for their comments and suggestions.

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Bidwell, M.O., Wang, B.X. & Zona, J.D. An analysis of asymmetric demand response to price changes: The case of local telephone calls. J Regul Econ 8, 285–298 (1995).

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  • Empirical Study
  • Public Finance
  • Price Change
  • Industrial Organization
  • Price Increase