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Price Elasticity

Research on Magnitude and Determinants


Evelyn Friedel

Price is a fundamental profit driver. It is by far the most sensitive profit lever that managers can influence. Very small price changes translate into enormous changes in profit. Price elasticity indicates how sensitively consumers react to price changes. Not only the knowledge about the magnitude of price elasticity, but also the knowledge about the determinants influencing the price reaction is essential. It is crucial for the development of a successful marketing strategy to understand how price elasticities vary with market and product characteristics. Reflecting the academic and managerial need, the objective of the research is to gain a comprehensive understanding in two main areas, the magnitude of price elasticity and the determinants of price elasticity.
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This work was accepted as a dissertation in November 2013 by the doctoral committee of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. This doctoral thesis would have never been possible without the commitment of my supervisors, colleagues, friends, and family. Therefore, I would like to thank some people who have supported me in the successful completion of this dissertation.

I want to thank my first supervisor Prof. Dr. Martin Fassnacht for his support. He accompanied my academic education from the time being a student at University of Mannheim to accomplishing my dissertation at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. During all these years I could rely on him as a mentor on both my academic work and my professional career.

I would like to thank my second supervisor Prof. Dr. Peter Witt for providing his timely and highly valuable second opinion.

This research was supported by my former employer Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global consulting firm specialized in strategy and marketing, through a scholarship and generous access to expert knowledge and consulting project data. Many colleagues supported the research providing insights and knowledge based on project experience. Especially, I would like to thank the company founder, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hermann Simon, for his support and his feedback on the research topic. In addition, I would like to thank my former boss Dr. Klaus Hilleke and all colleagues for supporting my research project.

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