To read this content please select one of the options below:

Transparency in pricing and its effect on perceived price fairness

Jodie L. Ferguson (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Pam Scholder Ellen (Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 19 August 2013




This research aims to examine the effects of transparency in pricing (i.e. disclosure of a price increase and extent of explanation) on perceived price fairness when a firm increases price.


US adult consumer panelists participated in two online experiments.


Consumers perceive a firm's price increase as more fair when the firm discloses the increase itself as compared to an outside source disclosing it. For a small price increase, a limited explanation was perceived as more fair; for a larger price increase, a more detailed aligned cost explanation was perceived as more fair.

Research limitations/implications

Firms who must raise prices may increase consumer perceptions of price fairness by disclosing the price increase and providing an appropriate explanation matched to the size of the increase.


This research focuses on the effects of being more transparent about pricing in the case of a price increase. Perceived price fairness is affected by who discloses the price increase, the amount of the price increase and the extent to which reasons are revealed and aligned with the firm's costs.



Received 5 June 2013. Revised 18 July 2013. Accepted 20 July 2013.


L. Ferguson, J. and Scholder Ellen, P. (2013), "Transparency in pricing and its effect on perceived price fairness", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 22 No. 5/6, pp. 404-412.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles