Fair price: research outside marketing

Sarah Maxwell (Fordham University, New York City, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Publication date: 31 October 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to summarize the current research in disciplines outside marketing that applies to price fairness: research by behavioral economists, primate behavior researchers and social neuroscientists.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is descriptive, summarizing the extensive research into fairness being done in disciplines other than marketing.

Findings

Research outside marketing indicates that a fair price is a preference. It has social utility that is independent of the economic utility of a low price. Consumers can actually harm themselves to punish what they perceive to be an unfair price. Conversely, a fair price triggers the reward center of the mind, stimulating happiness. The research also indicates that the response to a fair or unfair price is emotional: fast and automatic. The strength of that emotional response to unfairness varies across people. However, despite the variation in reactions, to ignore the concern for fairness is to miss a major motivation in economic decision making.

Originality/value

The fairness research in other disciplines both supports and informs the marketing research into what constitutes a fair price and how people respond to price (un)fairness.

Keywords

Citation

Maxwell, S. (2008), "Fair price: research outside marketing", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 17 No. 7, pp. 497-503. https://doi.org/10.1108/10610420810916399

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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