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Customer Poaching with Retention Strategies

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This paper is a first step in investigating the competitive and welfare effects of behaviourbased price discrimination (BBPD) in markets where firms have information to employ retention strategies as an attempt to raise barriers to switching. We focus on retention activity in the form of a discount offered to a consumer expressing an intention to switch. When save activity is allowed forward looking firms anticipate the effect of first period market share on second period profits and so they price more aggressively in the first-period. Thus, first period equilibrium price with BBPD and save activity is below its non-discrimination counterpart. This contrasts with first period price above the non-discrimination level if BBPD is used and save activity is forbidden. Regarding second period prices, retention discounts increase the price offered to those consumers who do not signal am intention to switch. The reverse happens to those consumer who decide to switch after being exposed to retention offers. As in other models where consumers have stable exogenous brand preferences, the instrument of behaviour based price discrimination is bad for profits and welfare but good for consumers. However, BBPD with the additional tool of retention activity boosts consumer surplus and overall welfare but decreases industry profit.

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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 02/2013.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:02/2013

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  1. Gehrig, Thomas & Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2011. "History-based price discrimination and entry in markets with switching costs: A welfare analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 732-739, June.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 2000. "Customer Poaching and Brand Switching," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 634-657, Winter.
  3. Greg Shaffer & Z. John Zhang, 2000. "Pay to Switch or Pay to Stay: Preference-Based Price Discrimination in Markets with Switching Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 397-424, 06.
  4. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 1999. "Dynamic Competition with Customer Recognition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 604-631, Winter.
  5. Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2012. "Investment in customer recognition and information exchange," Working Papers 12-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  6. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2007. "Customer Poaching and Advertising," NIPE Working Papers 12/2007, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  7. Thomas Gehrig & Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2012. "A Welfare Evaluation of History-Based Price Discrimination," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 373-393, December.
  8. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2007. "Pricing with Customer Recognition," NIPE Working Papers 27/2007, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  9. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2009. "A Survey on the Economics of Behaviour-Based Price Discrimination," NIPE Working Papers 5/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  10. 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.
  11. Yongmin Chen & Jason Pearcy, 2010. "Dynamic pricing: when to entice brand switching and when to reward consumer loyalty," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(4), pages 674-685.
  12. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
  13. Chen, Yuxin & Zhang, Z. John, 2009. "Dynamic targeted pricing with strategic consumers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 43-50, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Esteves, Rosa-Branca & Reggiani, Carlo, 2014. "Elasticity of demand and behaviour-based price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 46-56.

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