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Customer Poaching and Advertising

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Abstract

This article is a first loock at the dynamic effects of customer poaching in homogeneous product markets, where firms need to invest in advertising to generate awareness. When a firm can recognize customers with different past purchasing histories, it may send them targeted advertisements with different prices. It is shown that only the firm that advertises the highest price in the first period will engage in price discrimination, and that poaching clearly benefits the discriminating firm. This gives rise to "the race for discrimination effect", through which price discrimination may act to soften price competition rather than to intensify it. As a result of that, all firms might become better off, even when only one of them can engage in price discrimination. This article offers a first attempt to evaluate the effects of price discrimination on the efficiency properties of advertising. In markets with low or no advertising costs, allowing frims to price discriminate leads them to provide too little advertising, which is not good for consumers and overall welfare. Only in markets with high advertising costs, may firms overadvertise. Regarding the welfare effects, price dsscrimination is generally bad for welfare and consumer surplus, though good for firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 12/2007.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:12/2007

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References

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  1. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81, January.
  2. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Vives, Xavier, 1988. "On the Strategic Choice of Spatial Price Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 122-37, March.
  3. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
  4. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Customer Poaching and Brand Switching," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1871, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Taylor, Curtis R., 2000. "Supplier Surfing: Competition and Consumer Behavior in Subscription Markets," Working Papers 00-12, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
  8. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  9. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  10. Ganesh Iyer & David Soberman & J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2005. "The Targeting of Advertising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 461-476, May.
  11. Stegeman, Mark, 1991. "Advertising in Competitive Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 210-23, March.
  12. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 1999. "Dynamic Competition with Customer Recognition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 604-631, Winter.
  13. Stahl II Dale O., 1994. "Oligopolistic Pricing and Advertising," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 162-177, October.
  14. Esteban, Lola & Gil, Agustin & Hernandez, Jose M, 2001. "Informative Advertising and Optimal Targeting in a Monopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 161-80, June.
  15. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  16. Narasimhan, Chakravarthi, 1988. "Competitive Promotional Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 427-49, October.
  17. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
  18. Ireland, Norman J, 1993. "The Provision of Information in a Bertrand Oligopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 61-76, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2007. "Pricing with Customer Recognition," NIPE Working Papers 27/2007, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  2. Rosa Branca Esteves & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2009. "Price Discrimination under Customer Recognition and Mergers," NIPE Working Papers 23/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00622291 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Rosa-Branca Esteves & Sofia Cerqueira, 2014. "Behaviour-Based Price Discrimination under Advertising and Imperfectly Informed Consumers," NIPE Working Papers 08/2014, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  5. Rosa-Branca Esteves, 2014. "Behaviour-Based Price Discrimination with Retention Offers," NIPE Working Papers 09/2014, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  6. Jianqiang Zhang & Weijun Zhong & Shue Mei, 2012. "Competitive effects of informative advertising in distribution channels," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 561-584, September.
  7. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2009. "A Survey on the Economics of Behaviour-Based Price Discrimination," NIPE Working Papers 5/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  8. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2013. "Customer Poaching with Retention Strategies," NIPE Working Papers 02/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  9. Rosa Branca Esteves & Joana Resende, 2011. "Competitive Targeted Advertising with Price Discrimination," NIPE Working Papers 08/2011, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.

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