Hee Mok Park

Faculty Research: When Harry Bet with Sally: An Empirical Analysis of Multiple Peer Effects in Casino Gambling Behavior

Journal: Marketing Science (2015)

Hee Mok Park. Co-author: Puneet Manchanda.

In many consumption settings (e.g., restaurants, casinos, theme parks), individuals consume products either alone or with their peers (e.g., friends and/or family members). In such settings, it is likely that through social influence, a consumer’s decision on what to purchase or how much to consume is influenced by the purchase or consumption decisions of their peers.

Marketing researchers have had much interest in measuring such social influence and were primarily focused in estimating how one’s behavior (e.g., how much to spend) is influenced by the behavior of the peer. However, a consumer could not only be affected by the peer’s behavior, but also by other events that influence the peer to change his/her behavior. For example, if the peer gets a promotion, but the focal consumer does not, the focal consumer might judge the differential treatment to be unfair and react negatively. Another mechanism by which social influence could operate could be when the peer is physically present, but does not engage in the behavior under question. In other words, the peer’s presence could directly affect the focal consumer’s consumption behavior as the lack of consumption by the peer may signal a subtle or transient change in preferences. In response to this, the focal consumer may modify her behavior.

The authors develop an empirical model that allows them to identify all three effects simultaneously and apply it to behavioral data from a casino setting. The data comprise detailed gambling activity for a panel of individuals at a single casino over a two-year period. The results show that all three types of peer effects exist. The results also indicate that accounting for these peer effects simultaneously and identifying them at an individual level could help marketing managers draw up better guidelines for promotion policies as well as policy makers implement a more informed regulatory regime for the casino industry.

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Marketing Department Newsletter, Winter 2014


Marketing Department NewsletterAs 2014 enters with the BIG CHILL, we are excited to share news from Fall 2013!

On the faculty front, we bid farewell to Subhash Jain, who received the American Marketing Association’s 2013 Significant Contributions to Global Marketing Award, and retired in December. We welcomed three scholars with expertise in digital marketing and analytics. Jane Gu, Ph.D, works in digital marketing and distribution channels; Jane is teaching New Media Marketing Strategies. David Norton, Ph.D., is a recent graduate from University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business; Dr. Norton’s research focuses on consumer behavior in the digital marketing environment; he is teaching Introduction to Marketing Management. Hee Mok Park, Ph.D., a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, focuses on empirical modeling of marketing problems, and will be teaching Marketing and Data Analytics.

Our students continue to make us proud! Josh Lagan ’14 was named one of the Top 10 Student Sports Business Leaders, Caitlin Taylor ’14 shares her internship experiences in marketing and social media, and Pi Sigma Epsilon, our sales and marketing fraternity, hosted the 2013 Northeast Regional Conference!

Our alumni continue to be important partners! John Fodor, Executive Vice President of American Funds Distributors, Inc., Capital Research Management Company, was named our 2012-13 Outstanding Alumnus. John is our keynote speaker at the Department’s Student and Alumni Networking Reception on February 10(register at uconn.biz/mktg2014). We hope to see you there! We greatly appreciate the creation of scholarship funds for our students and gifts to the Marketing and Business Law Endowment for Excellence.

Each newsletter highlights contributions of our faculty. Please read more about Bill Ross award winning article, “Individual Differences in Brand Schematicity” and Robin Coulter’s recent work on the effects of automatic color preference on consumer choice. At the 2013 American Business Law Conference, our Business Law faculty were revered, “their research, teaching, and service to the academy makes the UConn business law faculty one of the most prominent cohorts in the discipline,” and Mark DeAngelis was again honored as one of four national Master Teacher finalists for the Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher Competition.

Our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014!

Best regards,

Robin Coulter

Robin Coulter
Department Head
Professor of Marketing
Marketing Department

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