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Welfare Improving Discrimination based on Cognitive Limitations

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  • Oktay Sürücü

    ()
    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the situation in which a profit-maximizing monopolist faces consumers that are diverse not only in their preferences but also in their levels of bounded rationality. The behavioral phenomenon considered here is the attraction effects when choices are made across categories. Using the standard second-degree price discrimination model, the optimal menu of contracts that screens consumers' types is characterized. The benefit of discriminating consumers based on their preference and cognitive limitation is always higher than its cost. In other words, the monopolist can exploit consumers and increase his profit with this contract. The model provides a possible explanation for the apparent puzzle why one may observe that the same quality products are priced differently under different labels. Moreover, this contract is welfare improving.

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File URL: http://www.imw.uni-bielefeld.de/n/upload/paper/03c6b06952c750899bb03d998e631860.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics in its series Working Papers with number 495.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:495

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Related research

Keywords: bounded rationality; attraction effect; contract design; welfare;

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  1. Michele Piccione & Ariel Rubinstein, 2003. "Modeling the Economic Interaction of Agents With Diverse Abilities to Recognize Equilibrium Patterns," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 212-223, 03.
  2. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1993. "On Price Recognition and Computational Complexity in a Monopolistic Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 473-84, June.
  3. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2006. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 689-714.
  4. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2010. "On the Strategic Use of Attention Grabbers," CEPR Discussion Papers 7863, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Barbos, Andrei, 2010. "Context effects: A representation of choices from categories," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1224-1243, May.
  6. Huber, Joel & Payne, John W & Puto, Christopher, 1982. " Adding Asymmetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Similarity Hypothesis," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 90-98, June.
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