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“For an additional $.55 you can get a blueberry muffin (which normally sells for $1.00), bringing your final total to an even $5.00.”
What do you do?
That’s what Assistant Professor of Marketing Terri Albert wants to know. Albert, who teaches at the Barney School of Business, is a Scholar-in-Residence this fall at New York University, where she is studying the relationship between consumer behavior and spare change. She is working with Russ Winer, deputy dean and marketing professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
“Every year, people in this country remove from circulation about $8 billion in spare change,” says Albert.
“Russ and I are trying to figure out what factors might induce consumers to spend some of that change.” The research involves simulating retail experiences using participants who represent a nationally diverse population.
You don’t want the blueberry muffin? How about donating that $.55 to your local Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Katrina? The implications for the retail and non-profit worlds are enormous.
Albert and Winer will report on their work in a number of scholarly journals, as well as the Harvard Business Review, where they co-authored a Forethought article on the research project last May.
Albert is expected back on campus in the spring.