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Researchers in psychology and marketing have found that consumers’ perceptions and evaluations of a product’s attractiveness, desirability, expensiveness, quality, and taste are affected by knowledge that the product is scarce. This study examines scarcity’s effect on a new variable-anticipated price appreciation. Although scarcity does not affect a product’s actual potential for price appreciation, news reports of scarce collectibles that have appreciated in value may lead people to develop naive economic theories associating scarcity with price appreciation. Consistent with this expectation, we found that scarcity increased the anticipated price appreciation of two collectible products. The practical implications of this result are discussed along with issues for future research.


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© Wiley. Final version published as: Lynn, M., & Bogert, P. (1996). The effect of scarcity on anticipated price appreciation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26(22), 1978-1984. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.