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Imperfect price discrimination, market structure, and efficiency


  • Qihong Liu
  • Konstantinos Serfes


We introduce a flexible third-degree price discrimination framework by modeling the information firms possess about consumers' locations (preferences) on the Salop circle as a partition. Higher information quality is translated into a partition refinement. In the limit, we obtain the perfect price discrimination paradigm. We show that the free-entry equilibrium number of firms exhibits a U-shape as a function of the quality of information. This implies that price discrimination generates the most efficient free-entry outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Qihong Liu & Konstantinos Serfes, 2005. "Imperfect price discrimination, market structure, and efficiency," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1191-1203, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:38:y:2005:i:4:p:1191-1203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1998. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 724-767, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Alderighi & Claudio A. Piga, 2008. "The Circular City with Heterogenous Firms," Working Paper series 16_08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    2. Fatemi, Farshad, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Price Discrimination," MPRA Paper 20399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jan Bouckaert & Hans Degryse, 2006. "Opt In Versus Opt Out: A Free-Entry Analysis of Privacy Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1831, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Qiang Gong & Qihong Liu & Yi Zhang, 2016. "Optimal product differentiation in a circular model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 119(3), pages 219-252, November.
    5. Fraser Summerfield, 2016. "Matching Skill and Tasks: Cyclical Fluctuations in the Overqualification of New Hires," Working Paper series 16-08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    6. Liu, Qihong & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2007. "Market segmentation and collusive behavior," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 355-378, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation


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