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Pricing and Priority Auctions in Queueing Systems with a Generalized Delay Cost Structure

Author

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  • Philipp Afèche

    () (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208-2009)

  • Haim Mendelson

    () (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)

Abstract

This paper studies alternative price-service mechanisms for a provider that serves customers whose delay cost depends on their service valuations. We propose a generalized delay cost structure that augments the standard additive model with a multiplicative component, capturing the interdependence between delay cost and values. We derive and compare the revenue-maximizing and socially optimal equilibria under uniform pricing, preemptive, and nonpreemptive priority auctions with an admission price. We find that the delay cost structure has a paramount effect on system behavior. The classical result that the revenue-maximizing admission price is higher and the utilization lower than is socially optimal can be reversed under our generalized structure, and we identify the conditions driving this reversal under each mechanism. We show that the conditional bid equilibria are unique and induce the socially optimal allocations. The auctions yield gains in system net value and provider profit over uniform pricing, which are dramatically larger for the preemptive mechanism. Both auctions perform better under multiplicative compared to additive delay costs. The highest-value customers always gain under the preemptive, but may lose under the nonpreemptive auction. The lowest-value customers always gain in either auction.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Afèche & Haim Mendelson, 2004. "Pricing and Priority Auctions in Queueing Systems with a Generalized Delay Cost Structure," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(7), pages 869-882, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:7:p:869-882
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1030.0156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Gershkov & Paul Schweinzer, 2010. "When queueing is better than push and shove," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 39(3), pages 409-430, July.
    2. Lian, Zhaotong & Gu, Xinhua & Wu, Jinbiao, 2016. "A re-examination of experience service offering and regular service pricing under profit maximization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 254(3), pages 907-915.
    3. Pengfei Guo & Paul Zipkin, 2007. "Analysis and Comparison of Queues with Different Levels of Delay Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 962-970, June.
    4. Gérard P. Cachon & Pnina Feldman, 2011. "Pricing Services Subject to Congestion: Charge Per-Use Fees or Sell Subscriptions?," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 13(2), pages 244-260, June.
    5. Thomas Kittsteiner & Benny Moldovanu, 2005. "Priority Auctions and Queue Disciplines That Depend on Processing Time," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(2), pages 236-248, February.
    6. Haim Mendelson & Ali K. Parlaktürk, 2008. "Product-Line Competition: Customization vs. Proliferation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2039-2053, December.
    7. Baric{s} Ata & Shiri Shneorson, 2006. "Dynamic Control of an M/M/1 Service System with Adjustable Arrival and Service Rates," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(11), pages 1778-1791, November.
    8. Güler, M. Güray & Bilgiç, Taner & Güllü, Refik, 2014. "Joint inventory and pricing decisions when customers are delay sensitive," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 302-312.
    9. Anouar El Haji & Sander Onderstal, 2015. "Trading Places: An Experimental Comparison of Reallocation Mechanisms for Priority Queuing," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-063/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Maxim Afanasyev & Haim Mendelson, 2010. "Service Provider Competition: Delay Cost Structure, Segmentation, and Cost Advantage," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 12(2), pages 213-235, May.
    11. repec:eee:ejores:v:262:y:2017:i:1:p:239-250 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Liu, Tieming & Methapatara, Chinnatat & Wynter, Laura, 2010. "Revenue management model for on-demand IT services," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(1), pages 401-408, November.
    13. Eric T. Anderson & James D. Dana, Jr., 2009. "When Is Price Discrimination Profitable?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(6), pages 980-989, June.
    14. Jayaswal, Sachin & Jewkes, Elizabeth & Ray, Saibal, 2011. "Product differentiation and operations strategy in a capacitated environment," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(3), pages 716-728, May.
    15. Zhou, Wenhui & Lian, Zhaotong & Wu, Jinbiao, 2014. "When should service firms provide free experience service?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(3), pages 830-838.
    16. Ke-Wei Huang & Arun Sundararajan, 2006. "Pricing Digital Goods: Discontinuous Costs and Shared Infrastructure," Working Papers 06-11, NET Institute, revised Sep 2006.
    17. repec:spr:annopr:v:244:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2141-4 is not listed on IDEAS

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