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Raghunath Rao


Department:     Marketing

Industry Areas:     Automobile Industry, Entrepreneurship, Pharmaceuticals

Research Areas:     Behavioral Decision Theory, Industrial Organization, Information Economics, Marketing Models

Raghunath Rao headshot

Raghunath Singh Rao is a professor of marketing at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

His research interests include durable goods markets, pricing, sales management, and innovation. His research uses game theory, secondary data, and lab experiments to study these topics.

He has published research in top-tier journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, Quantitative Marketing and Economics, and the Journal of Marketing.

He was honored as a Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Young Scholar in 2011, which identifies the “next generation” of marketing scholars. His other honors include the American Marketing Association’s awards for research excellence in sales management and entrepreneurial marketing. In 2020, Rao was named an MSI scholar, awarded to a select group of midcareer researchers who have shown “a keen understanding of the importance of academic-practitioner partnerships.”

Rao holds a master's in applied economics and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Minnesota.



Professional Awards

Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Scholar



AMA Entrepreneurial Marketing SIG Best Paper Award



AMA Sales SIG Excellence in Research Best Paper Award



Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Young Scholar



McCombs Research Excellence Grant



Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota



Xiaolin Li, Raghunath Singh Rao, Om Narasimhan, and Xing Gao. Dec 2022. Stay Positive or Go Negative? Memory Imperfections and Messaging Strategy. International Journal of Research in Marketing 39(4): 1127-1149.

Raghunath S Rao, Madhu Viswanathan, George John, and Sunil Kishore . 2021. Do Activity-Based Incentives Work? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Intervention. Journal of Marketing Research 58(4), 686-704.


Raghunath S Rao, Julie R. Irwin, and Liu, Zhuping. 2020. Flying with a Net and Without: Preventative Devices and Self-Control. International Journal of Research in Marketing 37(3), 521-543.


Jianqiang Zhang, Zhuping Liu, and Raghunath S Rao. 2018. Flirting with the Enemy: Online Competitor Referral and Entry-Deterrence. Quantitative Marketing and Economics 16(2), 209-249.


Richard Schaefer, Raghunath S Rao, and Vijay Mahajan. 2018. Marketing Self-Improvement Programs for Self-Signaling Consumers. Marketing Science 37(6), 912-929.


William M. Hedgcock, Raghunath S Rao, and Haipeng (Allan) Chen. 2016. Choosing to Choose: The Effects of Decoys and Prior Choice on Deferral. Management Science 62(10), 2952-2976.


Sunil Kishore, Raghunath S Rao, Om Narasimhan, and George John. 2013. Bonuses vs. Commissions: A Field Study. Journal of Marketing Research 50(3), 317-333.


Raghunath S Rao and Richard Schaefer. 2013. Conspicuous Consumption and Dynamic Pricing. Marketing Science 32(5), 786-804.


Jungkeun Kim, Raghunath S Rao, Kyeongheui Kim, and Akshay Rao. 2011. More or Less: A Model and Empirical Evidence on Preferences for Under and Over Payment in Trade-in Transactions. Journal of Marketing Research 48(1), 157-171.


Ritesh Saini, Raghunath S Rao, and Ashwani Monga. 2010. Is that Deal Worth My Time? The Interactive Effect of Relative and Referent Thinking on Willingness to Seek a Bargain. Journal of Marketing 74(1).


Raghunath S Rao, Om Narasimhan, and George John. 2009. Understanding the Role of Trade-ins in Durable Goods Markets: Theory and Evidence. Marketing Science 28(5).


Raghunath S Rao, Rajesh K. Chandy, and Jaideep C. Prabhu. 2008. The Fruits of Legitimacy: Why Some New Ventures Gain More from Innovation Than Others. Journal of Marketing 72, 58-75.