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Advance-Purchase Programs: When to Introduce and What to Inform Consumers

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  • Zhang, Tianle

Abstract

We study a two-stage model in which the information processed by consumers at the first stage (advance-purchase stage) is endogenously determined. In the model, the firm decides whether to introduce an advance-purchase program, chooses what attribute information to disclose and determines an advance-purchase price and a retail price. Forward-looking consumers strategically choose, based on the disclosed information, to buy in advance or to make a purchase decision at the second stage (retail stage) when all information is revealed. We characterize the firm's optimal choice on the advance-purchase program and the strategy of information disclosure. In particular, we show that the firm always prefers to introduce the advance-purchase program except when underlying consumer preferences are extremely homogenous. In addition, we find that fully revealing horizontal product information at the advance-purchase stage is never optimal to the firm, but revealing either partial or no product information can be optimal depending on the underlying consumer preferences. Our finding that partial information disclosure is sometimes optimal to the firm is in contrast to the result in the literature of horizontal information provision that a firm maximizes profit by revealing either no or full information to consumers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25606.

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Date of creation: 02 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25606

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Keywords: advance purchase; information disclosure; dynamic pricing;

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  1. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  2. Jinhong Xie & Steven M. Shugan, 2001. "Electronic Tickets, Smart Cards, and Online Prepayments: When and How to Advance Sell," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 219-243, June.
  3. Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
  4. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  5. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2002. "Advertising Content," Virginia Economics Online Papers 362, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  6. Gale, I.L. & Holmes, T.J., 1990. "Advance-Purchase Discounts And Monopoly Allocation Of Capacity," Working papers 9005, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Marc Möller & Makoto Watanabe, 2010. "Advance Purchase Discounts Versus Clearance Sales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 1125-1148, 09.
  8. Gale, Ian L. & Holmes, Thomas J., 1992. "The efficiency of advance-purchase discounts in the presence of aggregate demand uncertainty," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 413-437, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Nocke, Volker & Peitz, Martin, 2008. "Advance-Purchase Discounts as a Price Discrimination Device," CEPR Discussion Papers 6664, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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