Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Business Administration

First Advisor

Gary J. Russell

Second Advisor

Sri Devi Duvvuri


In this thesis, we develop a SKU level market basket model and apply the model to investigate cross-category reference price effects. This research extends previous work on the category-level multivariate logit model (Russell and Petersen 2000). Our model is a generalization of the multivariate logit model which allows for both complementarity and substitution effects at the brand level.

The modeling effort in this thesis allows us to use conditional probability distributions of individual items to construct the final joint-distribution of all possible basket selections. The resulting model is very flexible and accommodates a large variety of market structure patterns. The model structure implies that the changes in brand-level marketing variables directly affect category incidence (by altering category attractiveness) and indirectly determine market basket composition. Because the model can be written in a closed form manner, we can easily study the pattern of brand price competition by computing a matrix of cross-price elasticities. We use scanner panel data for the yogurt category to demonstrate the structural flexibility of the model. The results from this application reveal asymmetric competition consistent with price-tier competition literature.

We use this model to investigate how consumers' responses to reference prices within a category spillover into their choices across multiple categories. The notion is that a consumer's subjective judgment of the fairness of the price levels in one category influences the choice decisions of related items in other categories. We begin with building within-category SKU-level model based on previous findings from single category reference price models (i.e., internal versus external reference prices, asymmetric response due to loss aversion, and heterogeneity in response across consumers). We then develop four alternative model specifications for cross-category spillover effects and test competing theories about those effects. Using scanner panel data for detergent and softener categories, we discover valuable implications for reference price effects. First, SKU-level reference price effects exist and improve forecasting ability. Second, those reference price effects influence category attractiveness, but do no spillover across categories. Finally, category-level reference dependent evaluation may exist but not be important in forecasting.


SKU-level basket model, Market structure, Reference price, Spillover effect, Cross-category choice, Generalized Nested Logit


ix, 109 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 106-109).


Copyright 2007 Kyuseop Kwak