Doctoral Student

Bhavya Mohan

Bhavya is a fourth year student in the marketing department. She is primarily interested in the behavioral aspects of pricing. Bhavya graduated from Stanford University in 2006, where she received her BA in Economics and English with Honors. After graduating, she worked for the marketing analytics group at Google Inc, and the marketing strategy group at Safeway Inc.​​
Bhavya is a fourth year student in the marketing department. She is primarily interested in the behavioral aspects of pricing. Bhavya graduated from Stanford University in 2006, where she received her BA in Economics and English with Honors. After graduating, she worked for the marketing analytics group at Google Inc, and the marketing strategy group at Safeway Inc.​​

Working Papers

  1. Lifting the Veil: The Benefits of Cost Transparency

    A firm's costs are typically tightly-guarded secrets. However, across six laboratory experiments and a field study we identify when and why firms benefit from revealing cost information to consumers. Disclosing the variable costs associated with a product's production heightens consumers' attraction to the firm, which in turn increases purchase interest (Experiments 1-3). In fact, cost transparency has a stronger impact on purchase interest than emphasizing the firm's personal relationship with the consumer - a much more involved marketing tactic (Experiment 4). Further experiments explore boundary conditions and suggest that the benefit of cost transparency weakens as firms increase price relative to costs, and when markups are made salient (Experiments 5-6). Consistent with our lab findings, a natural experiment with an online retailer demonstrates that cost transparency improves sales. In particular, cost transparency led to a 44.0% increase in daily unit sales. This research implies that by revealing costs - typically tightly-guarded secrets - marketers can potentially improve both brand attraction and sales.

    Citation:

    Mohan, Bhavya, Ryan W. Buell, and Leslie K. John. "Lifting the Veil: The Benefits of Cost Transparency." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-017, September 2014. View Details