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Raghunath Rao - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin, TX, US

Raghunath Rao Raghunath Rao

Associate Professor, Department of Marketing | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business


An expert on marketing strategy


Areas of Expertise (8)

Industrial Organization Information Economics Marketing Models Durable Goods Markets Sales Management Entrepreneurship & Innovation Incentives Behavioral Decision Theory


Raghunath Rao is an Associate Professor at the McCombs School of Business. His research interests span a variety of marketing topics such as pricing, incentives, behavioral decision theory, sales management and innovation, and marketing models, often in the context of durable goods markets. His research is consistently published in the leading journals of his field, like the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and the Journal of Marketing.





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Education (4)

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis: Ph.D., Business Administration 2007

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis: M.S., Applied Economics

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (New Dehli, India): M.B.A., International Business

National Institute of Technology (Surat, India): B.Eng., Electrical Engineering

Articles (9)

Raghunath Rao Citations Google Scholar

List of top scholarly works by Raghunath Singh Rao.

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Flirting with the Enemy: Online Competitor Referral and Entry-Deterrence Quantitative Marketing and Economics


Internet retailers often compete fiercely for consumers through expensive marketing efforts like search engine advertising, online coupons and a variety of special deals. Against this background, it is somewhat puzzling that many online retailers have recently begun referring their website visitors to their direct competitors. In this paper, using an analytical model, we examine this counterintuitive practice and posit that an entry deterrence motive can potentially explain this marketplace puzzle.

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Choosing to Choose: The Effects of Decoys and Prior Choice on Deferral. Management Science


Sellers are often more interested in inducing buyers to make a choice—any choice—than in influencing which option they choose. For example, many retailers are more concerned about maximizing customer purchases within categories than influencing which brand is purchased in any particular category. ...Research on how contextual factors, such as decoys and prior decisions, affect whether consumers will “choose to choose” is scarce. We propose a reference-dependent model to fill this gap.

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Conspicuous Consumption and Dynamic Pricing Marketing Science


How do firms develop marketing strategy when consumers seek to satisfy both quality and status-related considerations? We develop an analytical model to study this issue, examining both pricing and product management decisions in markets for conspicuous durable goods.

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Bonuses versus Commissions: A Field Study Journal of Marketing Research


Quota-based bonuses and commissions are the two most common incentive compensation plans. In this award-winning paper, the authors uncover differential effects of these plans from a natural field-based experiment of a pharmaceutical firm that switched from a bonus plan to an equivalent commission plan. The intervention led to significant sales productivity improvement. [Winner of the 2014 AMA Sales SIG Excellence in Research Award for Best paper on Sales Management]

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More or Less: A Model and Empirical Evidence on Preferences for Under- and Over-Payment in Trade-In Transactions Journal of Marketing Research


When consumers trade in their used model for a new model, the firm faces the choice of paying the consumer a relatively low price for the used model and charging a commensurately low price for the new model or paying a relatively high price for the used model and charging a commensurately high price for the new model. The authors draw from the prospect theory value function to develop a simple analytical model...

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Is That Deal Worth My Time? The Interactive Effect of Relative and Referent Thinking on Willingness to Seek a Bargain Journal of Marketing


Prior research on relative thinking has suggested that the willingness to seek a bargain depends not only on the absolute value of the bargain but also on the price of the product. For example, a discount of $10 seems more appealing on a product whose regular price is $20 than a product whose regular price is $60. By invoking the interactive role of consumers' reference prices, the authors delineate the specific conditions under which the same $10 discount can seem less appealing when the price is $20 than when it is $60.

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Understanding the Role of Trade-Ins in Durable Goods Markets: Theory and Evidence Marketing Science


The act of trading in a used car as partial payment for a new car resonates with practically all consumers. Such transactions are prevalent in many other durable goods markets, ranging from golf clubs to CT scanners. What roles do trade-ins play in these markets?...

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The Fruits of Legitimacy: Why Some New Ventures Gain More From Innovation Than Others Journal of Marketing


This article examines rewards to product introduction by new ventures. The authors argue that the new ventures that gain the most from innovation are those that adopt strategies that give them legitimacy in the eyes of stakeholders.

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