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Bundle-Size Pricing as an Approximation to Mixed Bundling

  • Chenghuan Sean Chu
  • Phillip Leslie
  • Alan Sorensen

Multiproduct firms can set separate prices for all possible bundled combinations of its products "mixed bundling"). However, this is impractical for firms with more than a few products, because the number of prices increases exponentially with the number of products. We find that simple pricing strategies are often nearly optimal. Specifically, we show that bundle-size pricing--setting prices that depend only on the size of bundle purchased--tends to be more profitable than offering the individual products priced separately and tends to closely approximate the profits from mixed bundling. (JEL D24, D42, L11, L13, L25)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 263-303

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:263-303
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  1. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 1998. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," NBER Working Papers 6481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou & Daniel L. McFadden & Paul Ruud, 1993. "Simulation of Multivariate Normal Rectangle Probabilities and their Derivatives: Theoretical and Computational Results," Working Papers _024, Yale University.
  3. Gregory S. Crawford & Ali Yurukoglu, 2012. "The Welfare Effects of Bundling in Multichannel Television Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 643-85, April.
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  10. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
  11. Armstrong, Mark, 1999. "Price Discrimination by a Many-Product Firm," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 151-68, January.
  12. Phillip Leslie & Alan Sorensen, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Ticket Resale," NBER Working Papers 15476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Spence, A Michael, 1980. "Multi-Product Quantity-Dependent Prices and Profitability Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 821-41, October.
  14. Malueg, David A. & Snyder, Christopher M., 2006. "Bounding the relative profitability of price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 995-1011, September.
  15. Kamel Jedidi & Sharan Jagpal & Puneet Manchanda, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneous Reservation Prices for Product Bundles," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 107-130, July.
  16. Phillip Leslie, 2004. "Price Discrimination in Broadway Theater," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 520-541, Autumn.
  17. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
  18. Gregory Crawford, 2008. "The discriminatory incentives to bundle in the cable television industry," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 41-78, March.
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