Edgeworth Price Cycles and intertemporal price discrimination
AbstractIn a retail gasoline market exhibiting Edgeworth Price Cycles, prices change asymmetrically with many small decreases interrupted by occasional large increases. The result is a de facto menu of prices from which consumers can choose based on exactly when they buy. This article introduces four classes of purchase timing strategies designed to systematically shift consumer purchases towards the cycle troughs. It shows in the study market of Toronto, Canada, the monetary gains to consumers from optimized timing strategies are as high as 3.9%. Markups earned from these consumers fall up to 82%. In spite of the gains from timing strategies, surprisingly few consumers use them. Evidence is presented that a main reason is that consumers are not well informed about the cycles. Policy implications are discussed.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.
Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco
Dynamic pricing; Retail gasoline; Rockets and feathers; Toronto; Asymmetry; Collusion;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
- L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
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