raghu-f-072 a


McCombs School of Business
The University of Texas at Austin
2110 Speedway Stop B6700
Austin, TX 78712
Phone: 512-232-3748


I am an Associate Professor and Clark Centennial Fellow in Business affiliated with McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. My research interests include information asymmetry and bounded rationality issues in marketing in relation to substantive topics like pricing, sales management and innovation, often in the context of durable goods markets. My research has been published in the leading journals like Management Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science and the Journal of Marketing. I received an MS in Applied Economics and a PhD in Business Administration, both from the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities.

Select Research Papers

  1. William Hedgcock, Raghunath Singh Rao and Haipeng (Allan) Chen (2015). “Choosing to Choose: The Effects of Decoys and Prior Choice on Deferral.” Management Science, Forthcoming
    • Using a reference-dependent model, we come up with new predictions on how consumers “choose not to choose” and test these using four experiments.
  2. Raghunath Singh Rao and Richard Schaefer (2013). “Conspicuous Consumption and Dynamic Pricing.” Marketing Science, 32.5: 786-804 [Paper] [Web Appendix]
      • Employing a game-theoretic approach, we examine firms’ pricing and product decisions in relation to consumers’ status and quality considerations.
  3. Sunil Kishore, Raghunath Singh Rao, Om Narasimhan and George John (2013). “Bonuses versus Commissions: A Field Study.” Journal of Marketing Research 50.3: 317-333. [Paper] [Web Appendix]
      • We study the differential effects of bonuses versus commissions in a large field experiment conducted within sales territories of a pharmaceutical firm.
      • Winner, 2014 American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Sales SIG Excellence in Research Award for Best Paper on Sales Management
  4.  Kim Jungkeun, Raghunath Singh Rao, Kyeongheui Kim, and Akshay R. Rao (2011). “More or Less: A Model and Empirical Evidence on Preferences for Under and Over-payment in Trade-in Transactions.” Journal of Marketing Research 48.1: 157-171. [Paper] [Web Appendix ]
      • We ask whether economically irrelevant differences in the pricing structure of trade-in transactions will yield meaningful differences in consumer preferences.
  5.  Saini, Ritesh, Raghunath Singh Rao, and Ashwani Monga (2010). “Is That Deal Worth My Time? The Interactive Effect of Relative and Referent Thinking on Willingness to Seek a Bargain.” Journal of Marketing 74.1: 34-48. [Paper] [Web Appendix]
      • Our model simultaneously incorporates well-known relative and referent thinking effects yielding novel predictions that are tested in lab experiments.
  6.  Rao, Raghunath Singh, Om Narasimhan, and George John (2009). “Understanding the Role of Trade-Ins in Durable Goods Markets: Theory and Evidence.” Marketing Science 28.5: 950-967. [Paper]
      • We build an equilibrium model of  trade-ins  in the durable goods markets plagued by ‘lemons problem’ and test the predictions in the US auto market.
  7.  Rao, Raghunath Singh, Rajesh K. Chandy, and Jaideep C. Prabhu (2008). “The Fruits of Legitimacy: Why Some New Ventures Gain More from Innovation than Others.” Journal of Marketing 72.4: 58-75. [Paper]
      • We examine the drivers of returns to product introductions by new ventures using stock market gains of products introduced in the US biotech industry.
  8.  ” Flirting with the Enemy: Online Competitor Referral and Entry-Deterrence,” with Jianqiang Zhang and Zhuping Liu [Working Paper]
    • We posit that the puzzling practice of “competitor referrals” can be rationalized by entry deterrence motives.
  9.  “Marketing Self-Improvement Programs for Self-Signaling Consumers” with Richard Schaefer and Vijay Mahajan [Working Paper]
    • Using a self-signaling model that accounts for the complex process in which a resolution seeker manages self-control perceptions, we characterize a wide range of equilibrium pricing policies for self-improvement programs.
  10. “Memory Imperfections and Messaging Strategy,” with Xiaolin Li and Om Narasimhan [Working Paper]
    • We study the issue of optimal mix of message content in elections taking into account the presence of memory imperfections among voters.
  11. “Preventative Devices and Self-control,” with Julie Irwin and Zhuping Liu [Working Paper]
    • Modeling both immediate and delayed consequences of vice goods and the heterogeneity  consumer impatience and sophistication, we rationalize patently non-normative results such as consumers’ willful forgoing of a freely available preventative device.

I can be reached at raghunath dot rao at mccombs dot utexas dot edu . A copy of my resume can be found here.