Dynamic Screening with Limited Commitment
AbstractWe examine a model of dynamic screening and price discrimination in which the seller has limited commitment power. Two cohorts of anonymous, patient, and risk-neutral buyers arrive over two periods. Buyers in the first cohort arrive in period one, are privately informed about the distribution of their values, and then privately learn the value realizations in period two. Buyers in the second cohort are ``last-minute shoppers'' that already know their values upon their arrival in period two. The seller can fully commit to a long-term contract with buyers in the first cohort, but cannot commit to the future contractual terms that will be offered to second-cohort buyers. The expected second-cohort contract serves as an endogenous type-dependent outside option for first-cohort buyers, reducing the seller's ability to extract rents via sequential contracts. We derive the seller-optimal equilibrium and show that the seller mitigates this effect by inducing some first-cohort buyers to strategically delay their time of contracting---the seller manipulates the timing of contracting in order to endogenously generate a commitment to maintaining high future prices. The seller's optimal contract pools low types, separates high types, and induces intermediate types to delay contracting.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-485.
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Asymmetric information; Dynamic mechanism design; Limited commitment; Sequential screening; Type-dependent participation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-05-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2013-05-22 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-CTA-2013-05-22 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-MIC-2013-05-22 (Microeconomics)
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