The consumer price index in the United States has increased since the COVID-19 outbreak. Little is known about how consumers perceive price increases during such a crisis. Our research focuses on how consumers' price fairness perceptions change at different time points of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results from a longitudinal study (April–May, 2020, N = 271) suggest that when the lockdown restrictions were eased, consumers experienced changes in affect and perceived price increases to be less unfair. Our analysis reveals that such an effect was driven by changes in positive affect rather than negative affect. This research advances pricing literature by showing that affect, triggered by external situations such as a crisis, influences price fairness perceptions over and above the negative affect induced by the price increase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology