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Screening Consumers through Alternative Pricing Mechanisms

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  • Miravete, Eugenio J

Abstract

This paper addresses the optimal design of optional nonlinear tariffs. Two particular solutions commonly used in telecommunications and other industries are fully characterized. These optimal outlay schedules illustrate how the tariff design is altered when there exists a time lag between tariff choice and consumption. In this model, consumers' uncertainty is resolved in the interim, between the tariff choice and the usage decision, through changes in their types. The paper studies whether the monopolist may profit from screening consumers according to different information sets, and it shows that expected profits are higher under an ex-post tariff if the variance of the ex-ante type distribution is large enough. The paper also shows that no results regarding social efficiency may be obtained in general. Welfare comparison of optional tariffs will be very sensitive to type distributions, how types enter demand specifications, and the relative variance of the type components. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Regulatory Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 111-32

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Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:9:y:1996:i:2:p:111-32

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References

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  1. Goldman, M Barry & Leland, Hayne E & Sibley, David S, 1984. "Optimal Nonuniform Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 305-19, April.
  2. Clay, Karen B & Sibley, David S & Srinagesh, Padmanabhan, 1992. "Ex Post vs. Ex Ante Pricing: Optional Calling Plans and Tapered Tariffs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 115-38, June.
  3. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, December.
  4. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  5. Calem, Paul S. & Spulber, Daniel F., 1984. "Multiproduct two part tariffs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 105-115, June.
  6. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-27, May.
  7. Kridel, Donald J. & Lehman, Dale E. & Weisman, Dennis L., 1993. "Option value, telecommunications demand, and policy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 125-144, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Inderst, Roman & Peitz, Martin, 2012. "Informing consumers about their own preferences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 417-428.
  2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:13:y:2004:i:1:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  4. Eugenio J. Miravete, . "Quantity Discounts for Taste-Varying Consumers," CARESS Working Papres 99-11, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Michael D. Grubb & Matthew Osborne, 2012. "Cellular Service Demand: Biased Beliefs, Learning, and Bill Shock," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 829, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2001. "Screening Through Bundling," Penn CARESS Working Papers 3b8e0b3847b08b90e8570987c, Penn Economics Department.
  7. Inderst, Roman & Peitz, Martin, 2008. "Selling Service Plans to Differentially Informed Customers," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-125, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Bang, Se Hoon & Kim, Jaesoo, 2013. "Price discrimination via information provision," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 215-224.
  9. Daniel Danau & Annalisa Vinella, 2012. "Optimal contract with private information on cost expectation and variability," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201228, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  10. Staffan Ringbom & Oz Shy, 2004. "Advance booking, cancellations, and partial refunds," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 13(1), pages 1-7.
  11. Michael D. Grubb, 2009. "Selling to Overconfident Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1770-1807, December.
  12. Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 1997. "Sequential screening," Economics Working Papers 224, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Miravete, Eugenio J, 2001. "Quantity Discounts for Time-Varying Consumers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Oz Shy & Staffan Ringbom, 2005. "Refunds and Collusion," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0001, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  15. Daniel Danau & Annalisa Vinella, 2010. "Optimal contracting with private information on cost expectation and variability," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 1007, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  16. Ringbom, Staffan & Shy, Oz, 2008. "Refunds and collusion in service industries," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 502-516.
  17. Michael Kremer & Christopher M. Snyder, 2013. "When Is Prevention More Profitable than Cure? The Impact of Time-Varying Consumer Heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 18862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Miravete, Eugenio J, 2000. "Estimating Demand for Local Telephone Service with Asymmetric Information and Optional Calling Plans," CEPR Discussion Papers 2635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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