Are Menthol Cigarettes More Addictive? A Cross-Category Comparison of Habit Formation, recording, slides
Menthol cigarettes have been banned in parts of the U.S. based on the premise that they are more addictive than non-menthol cigarettes. In this paper, I propose a framework and a novel identification strategy to compare the extent to which consumption is driven by addiction across different categories based on consumer panel data. Using variation in the length of temporary breaks in consumption, I compare the effect of past consumption to that of static preferences in driving consumption levels for each cigarette type. I find that demand for menthol cigarettes does not depend more on past consumption and therefore smokers of menthol cigarettes are no more addicted than smokers of non-menthol cigarettes. However, menthol cigarettes compare unfavorably to non-menthol cigarettes on other dimensions of addictive behavior: they are harder to quit successfully and more attractive to first-time users.
Platform Vertical Integration and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from a Field Experiment
Many firms, from retailers to investment management companies, offer their own products alongside products sold by competitors. This vertical integration, although common across the economy, is particularly controversial in a digital setting. In this work, we study the effects on consumer choice of vertical integration practices by Amazon, which offers products from its own brands (Amazon Basics and others) that compete with other brands. To study this question, we run a field experiment in which some users are randomized to not be shown Amazon owned brands as they browse Amazon. Our experiment is made possible by a new piece of software, Webmunk, which is a browser extension that can change the look and feel of websites as people browse them. Our key preliminary finding is that shoppers substitute towards cheaper products when products owned by Amazon are not available.
Monday, October 16, Noon ET - Nikhil Agarwal (MIT)
Monday, October 23, Noon ET - Emaad Manzoor (Cornell)
Monday, October 30, Noon ET - Andread Kraft (U Chicago)
Monday, November 6, Noon ET - Hortense Fong (Columbia)
Monday, November 13, Noon ET - Nils Wernerfelt (Northwestern)
Monday, November 20, Noon ET - Hana Choi (Rochester)