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Intertemporal Price Discrimination in Storable Goods Markets

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  • Igal Hendel
  • Aviv Nevo

Abstract

We study intertemporal price discrimination when consumers can store for future consumption needs. To make the problem tractable we offer a simple model of demand dynamics, which we estimate using market level data. Optimal pricing involves temporary price reductions that enable sellers to discriminate between price sensitive consumers, who anticipate future needs, and less price-sensitive consumers. We empirically quantify the impact of intertemporal price discrimination on profits and welfare. We find that sales: (1) capture 25-30% of the profit gap between non-discriminatory and third degree price discrimination profits, and (2) increase total welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16988.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Publication status: published as “Intertemporal Price Discrimination in Storable Goods Markets”, American Economic Review 103(7), December 2013, 2722-51 (joint with Igal Hendel).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16988

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  1. Sobel, Joel, 1984. "The Timing of Sales," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 353-68, July.
  2. Salop, S & Stiglitz, J E, 1982. "The Theory of Sales: A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Identical Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1121-30, December.
  3. Jeuland, Abel P & Narasimhan, Chakravarthi, 1985. "Dealing-Temporary Price Cuts-by Seller as a Buyer Discrimination Mechanism," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3), pages 295-308, July.
  4. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
  5. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2009. "An empirical investigation of the welfare effects of banning wholesale price discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 20-46.
  6. Boizot, Christine & Robin, Jean-Marc & Visser, Michael, 2001. "The Demand for Food Products: An Analysis of Interpurchase Times and Purchased Quantities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 391-419, April.
  7. Hong, Pilky & McAfee, R. Preston & Nayyar, Ashish, 2002. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Consumer Inventories," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 503-517, August.
  8. Shepard, Andrea, 1991. "Price Discrimination and Retail Configuration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 30-53, February.
  9. Conlisk, John & Gerstner, Eitan & Sobel, Joel, 1984. "Cyclic Pricing by a Durable Goods Monopolist," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 489-505, August.
  10. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
  11. Varian, Hal R, 1985. "Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 870-75, September.
  12. Tülin Erdem & Susumu Imai & Michael Keane, 2003. "Brand and Quantity Choice Dynamics Under Price Uncertainty," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-64, March.
  13. Nahata, Babu & Ostaszewski, Krzysztof & Sahoo, P K, 1990. "Direction of Price Changes in Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1254-58, December.
  14. Severin Borenstein, 1985. "Price Discrimination in Free-Entry Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 380-397, Autumn.
  15. Martin Pesendorfer, 2002. "Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(1), pages 33-66, January.
  16. Frank Verboven, 1996. "International Price Discrimination in the European Car Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 240-268, Summer.
  17. Cowan, Simon & Vickers, John & Aguirre Pérez, Iñaki, 2009. "Monopoly Price Discrimination and Demand Curvature," IKERLANAK 2009-39, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  18. Schmalensee, Richard., 1980. "Output and welfare implications of monopolistic third-degree price discrimination," Working papers 1095-80., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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Cited by:
  1. Siegert, Caspar & Ulbricht, Robert, 2014. "Dynamic Oligopoly Pricing: Evidence from the Airline Industry," TSE Working Papers 14-478, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. Takanori Adachi & Noriaki Matsushima, 2011. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in a Differentiated Oligopoly," ISER Discussion Paper 0800, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  3. Diego, Escobari, 2014. "Estimating Dynamic Demand for Airlines," MPRA Paper 55408, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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