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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 9, 2015

Salience and Health Campaigns

Markus Dertwinkel-Kalt


Motivated by current topics in health economics, we apply the theory of salience to consumer policy. If a government intends to encourage healthier diets without harming consumers by raising taxes, it could initiate information campaigns which focus consumers’ attention either on the healthiness of one item or the unhealthiness of the other item. According to our approach, both campaigns work, but it is more efficient to proclaim the unhealthiness of one product in order to present it as a “ bad.” Our findings imply that comparative advertisement is particularly efficient for entrant firms into established markets.

JEL: I18; D11; D03

Corresponding author: Markus Dertwinkel-Kalt, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE), Universitätsstr. 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany, Phone: +492118115055, e-mail:


I would like to thank the editor and two anonymous referees as well as Hans-Theo Normann and Christian Wey for helpful advice.


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Published Online: 2015-7-9
Published in Print: 2016-6-1

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