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Informing Consumers about their own Preferences

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  • Peitz, Martin
  • Inderst, Roman

Abstract

We analyze a model of monopolistic price discrimination where only some consumers are originally sufficiently informed about their preferences, e.g., about their future demand for a utility such as electricity or telecommunication. When more consumers become informed, we show that this benefits also those consumers who remain uninformed, as it reduces the firm’s incentives to extract information rent. By reducing the costs of information acquisition or forcing firms to supply consumers with the respective information about past usage, policy can further improve welfare, as contracts become more efficient. The last observation stands in contrast to earlier findings by Crémer and Khalil (American Economic Review 1992), where all consumers are uninformed.

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File URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/31325/1/Sammelmappe7.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Mannheim, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12-07.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:31325

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Keywords: Nonlinear pricing ; price discrimination ; monopolistic screening ; information acquisition;

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  1. Michael D. Grubb, 2006. "Selling to Overconfident Consumers," Discussion Papers 06-018, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Courty, Pascal & Li, Hao, 2000. "Sequential Screening," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 697-717, October.
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  4. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118, October.
  5. Sridhar Narayanan & Pradeep Chintagunta & Eugenio Miravete, 2007. "The role of self selection, usage uncertainty and learning in the demand for local telephone service," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-34, March.
  6. Heski Bar-Isaac & Guillermo Caruana & Vicente Cunat, 2008. "Information Gathering and Marketing," Working Papers 08-17, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  7. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  8. Armstrong, Mark & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Multi-dimensional screening:: A user's guide," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 959-979, April.
  9. Cremer, J. & Khalil, F., 1991. "Gathering Information Before Signing a Contract," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-16, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  10. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
  11. Anderson, Simon P & Renault, Regis, 2000. "Consumer Information and Firm Pricing: Negative Externalities from Improved Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 721-42, August.
  12. Miravete, Eugenio J, 1996. "Screening Consumers through Alternative Pricing Mechanisms," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 111-32, March.
  13. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2004. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," Economics Series Working Papers 185, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Bergemann, Dirk & Välimäki, Juuso, 2006. "Information in Mechanism Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 5494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Stole, Lars A, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311, January.
  16. Anja Lambrecht & Katja Seim & Bernd Skiera, 2007. "Does Uncertainty Matter? Consumer Behavior Under Three-Part Tariffs," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(5), pages 698-710, 09-10.
  17. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  18. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1997. "Information Management in Incentive Problems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 796-821, August.
  19. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-87, June.
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  21. Steven A. Matthews & Nicola Persico, 2007. "Information Acquisition and Refunds for Returns," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:503-520 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2005. "The Welfare Performance Of Sequential Pricing Mechanisms ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1321-1360, November.
  26. Baron, David P. & Besanko, David, 1984. "Regulation and information in a continuing relationship," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 267-302.
  27. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
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Cited by:
  1. Kovác, Eugen & Krähmer, Daniel, 2013. "Optimal Sequential Delegation," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 427, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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