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Customer-class pricing, parallel trade and the optimal number of market segments

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  • Braouezec, Yann

Abstract

We consider the optimal market segmentation problem of a monopolist that faces a continuum of customers when it is costly to prevent resale (or parallel trade) among groups. In our framework, the monopolist chooses the number k≥1 of market segments, but also their design and the discriminatory prices. All these quantities are chosen to maximize the total profit. We solve the profit maximization problem when demands are linear and parallel as a function of the cost of separating markets. We show that market segmentation and prices cannot be chosen independently, and we also show that it is optimal to create only a few market segments. We then turn to the welfare analysis and show that the socially optimal number of market segment is equal to three.

Suggested Citation

  • Braouezec, Yann, 2012. "Customer-class pricing, parallel trade and the optimal number of market segments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 605-614.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:30:y:2012:i:6:p:605-614
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2012.06.006
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Braouezec, Yann, 2016. "On the welfare effects of regulating the number of discriminatory prices," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 588-607.
    2. Yann Braouezec, 2015. "Public versus Private Insurance System with (and without) Transaction Costs: Optimal Segmentation Policy of an Informed monopolistPublic versus Private Insurance System with (and without) Transaction ," Working Papers 2013-ECO-23, IESEG School of Management, revised May 2014.
    3. Yann Braouezec, 2013. "The Welfare Effects of Regulating the Number of Market Segments," Working Papers 2013-ECO-11, IESEG School of Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monopoly; Third-degree price discrimination; Endogenous market segmentation; Parallel trade;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

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