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Competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists

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  • Ron Borzekowski
  • Raphael Thomadsen
  • Charles Taragin

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists. More specifically, we examine whether sellers are more likely to segregate consumers by offering a menu of quality choices (second-degree price discrimination) and/or offering different prices to readily identifiable groups of consumers (third-degree price discrimination) in more competitive markets. We also examine how the fineness with which consumers are divided corresponds to the level of competition in the market. ; The dataset includes information about all consumer response lists derived from mail order buyers (i.e. lists derived from catalogs) available for rental in 1997 and 2002. Using industry classifications, we create measures of competition for each list. We then use these measures to predict whether given lists utilize discriminatory pricing strategies. ; Our results indicate that lists facing more competition are more likely to implement second-degree and third-degree price discrimination, and when implementing second-degree price discrimination, to offer menus with more choices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2005-56.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-56

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Keywords: Price discrimination ; Mailing list services industry;

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Cited by:
  1. Awudu Abdulai & Christian Kuhlgatz & Silke Schmitz, 2009. "Empirical investigation of price setting and quantity surcharges in the German food sector," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 331-350.
  2. Marco Alderighi & Alessandro Cento & Peter Nijkamp & Piet Rietveld, 2011. "Second-degree Price Discrimination and Inter-group Effects in Airline Routes between European Cities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-118/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Kutsal Dogan & Ernan Haruvy & Ram Rao, 2010. "Who should practice price discrimination using rebates in an asymmetric duopoly?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 61-90, March.
  4. Seim, Katja & Viard, V. Brian, 2006. "The Effect of Market Structure on Cellular Technology Adoption and Pricing," Research Papers 1876r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  5. Haizhen Lin & Yijia Wang, 2012. "Competition and Price Discrimination in the Parking Garage Industry," Working Papers 2012-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  6. Gil, Ricard & Hartmann, Wesley R., 2008. "Why Does Popcorn Cost So Much at the Movies? An Empirical Analysis of Metering Price Discrimination," Research Papers 1983, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  7. Katja Seim & V. Brian Viard, 2011. "The Effect of Market Structure on Cellular Technology Adoption and Pricing," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 221-51, May.
  8. Anja Lambrecht & Katja Seim & Naufel Vilcassim & Amar Cheema & Yuxin Chen & Gregory Crawford & Kartik Hosanagar & Raghuram Iyengar & Oded Koenigsberg & Robin Lee & Eugenio Miravete & Ozge Sahin, 2012. "Price discrimination in service industries," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 423-438, June.
  9. Hwang, M. & Bronnenberg, B.J. & Thomadsen, R., 2010. "An empirical analysis of assortment similarities across U.S. supermarkets," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3736994, Tilburg University.
  10. Frank Limehouse & Michael Maloney & Kurt Rotthoff, 2012. "Peak-Load Versus Discriminatory Pricing: Evidence from the Golf Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 151-165, May.

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