Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)

Document Type



Research on consumer’s response to pricing tactics has been plentiful and is still ongoing. One strategy that research has sought to explain and endorse is pennies-a-day (Gourville, 1998), where the cost of a product is expressed as a small ongoing expense. This dissertation tests two competing theories that may explain the effect of PAD on consumer participation intentions. The first theory, marketing exchange (Bagozzi, 1975) predicts different effects across exchange type; in particular, generalized exchange (charity) and restricted exchange (consumer products and services). The second theory, mental budgeting (Heath and Soll, 1996) predicts different effects across expense type; this study addresses recurring and non-recurring expenses. This research then extends this framework to a cause-related marketing (CRM) context. First, a pretest and one experiment test the competing theories, while considering process measures, such as sympathy and deliberation, to explain the effect of PAD on participation intentions. Results provide evidence that the relationship between PAD frame and participation intentions is moderated by exchange type. Consistent with the predictions, PAD frame improved perception of offer attractiveness and increased sympathy towards the object of the offer in a generalized exchange context (charity); the same was not supported in a restricted exchange context (consumer products). Second, a pilot test and two experiments test the effect of PAD on participation intentions in a CRM context. The studies explore the effects of sympathy, deliberation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and attitude towards the manufacturer (ATTM) as mediating variables. Results provide support to the moderating role of donation amount on the effect of PAD on participation intentions. While PAD did not have a significant impact on participation intentions as donation amount increased, aggregate frame led to a significant increase in participation intentions. Results highlighted the mediating role of sympathy, CSR, deliberation, and ATTM between donation amount and participation intentions. Overall, this research helps companies to frame prices to improve consumers’ likelihood of participation. In addition, it helps companies to frame donations in CRM campaigns to improve participation. This research also identifies several variables with a potential to affect the relationships between price frame, donation amount, and participation intentions.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Niedrich, Ronald W.



Included in

Marketing Commons