Empirical Analysis of Brands: A Survey

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Journal Article
Japanese Economic Review, 2018, 69 (3), pp. 324 - 339
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© 2018 Japanese Economic Association In this paper, we survey the empirical analysis of brands. The difficulty in this area of research is that even though a brand is easily identifiable, its economic roles are not directly observable. We first discuss methods where the effect of a brand is measured as the unobservable component of sales or price of a product, which researchers recover as a residual of the sales or price regression. We then describe the approaches to estimate the various roles of brands, such as providing information and increasing the utility of consumption. Finally, we provide examples of research that highlight the role of brands in exploiting the irrationality of consumers for profit.
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