IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/qmktec/v14y2016i2d10.1007_s11129-016-9168-3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Mixed pricing in online marketplaces

Author

Listed:
  • Katja Seim

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Michael Sinkinson

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

A rich theory literature predicts mixed strategies in posted prices due to standard price discrimination, search frictions, and various other rationales. While typically interpreted as implying occasional sales or price dispersion, online marketplaces enable a firm to truly use randomization as a tool in pricing, and so such behavior should be expected to arise in online settings. We investigate a case of mixed pricing across a large subset of products on a major e-commerce website. We first test for randomizing behavior, and then construct a model of price discrimination that would generate randomization as optimal behavior. We estimate the model and use it to assess pricing effects of a proposed merger in the industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Katja Seim & Michael Sinkinson, 2016. "Mixed pricing in online marketplaces," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 129-155, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:14:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s11129-016-9168-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11129-016-9168-3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11129-016-9168-3
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
    2. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
    3. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    4. Stigler, George J., 2011. "Economics of Information," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 5, pages 35-49.
    5. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    6. Ali Hortaçsu & Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Differentiation, Search Costs, and Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Case Study of S&P 500 Index Funds," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 403-456.
    7. Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2011. "An empirical model of search with vertically differentiated products," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(4), pages 729-757, December.
    8. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-1268, September.
    9. John Conlisk & Eitan Gerstner & Joel Sobel, 1984. "Cyclic Pricing by a Durable Goods Monopolist," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 489-505.
    10. Frederick Warren-Boulton & Serdar Dalkir, 2001. "Staples and Office Depot: An Event-Probability Case Study," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 19(4), pages 467-479, December.
    11. Cabral, Luis M. B., 2003. "Horizontal mergers with free-entry: why cost efficiencies may be a weak defense and asset sales a poor remedy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 607-623, May.
    12. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2013. "Intertemporal Price Discrimination in Storable Goods Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2722-2751, December.
    13. Ş. Akın & Brennan Platt, 2014. "A theory of search with deadlines and uncertain recall," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 101-133, January.
    14. Jagmohan S. Raju & V. Srinivasan & Rajiv Lal, 1990. "The Effects of Brand Loyalty on Competitive Price Promotional Strategies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(3), pages 276-304, March.
    15. Martin Pesendorfer, 2002. "Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(1), pages 33-66, January.
    16. Ram C. Rao, 1991. "Pricing and Promotions in Asymmetric Duopolies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 131-144.
    17. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
    18. P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
    19. Mark D. Manuszak & Charles C. Moul, 2008. "Prices And Endogenous Market Structure In Office Supply Superstores," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 94-112, March.
    20. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
    21. Steven Salop, 1977. "The Noisy Monopolist: Imperfect Information, Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 393-406.
    22. Teck-Hua Ho & Christopher S. Tang & David R. Bell, 1998. "Rational Shopping Behavior and the Option Value of Variable Pricing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-2), pages 145-160, December.
    23. Orley Ashenfelter & David Ashmore & Jonathan Baker & Suzanne Gleason & Daniel Hosken, 2006. "Empirical Methods in Merger Analysis: Econometric Analysis of Pricing in FTC v. Staples," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 265-279.
    24. Zhongmin Wang, 2009. "(Mixed) Strategy in Oligopoly Pricing: Evidence from Gasoline Price Cycles Before and Under a Timing Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 987-1030, December.
    25. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, June.
    26. Maxim Sinitsyn, 2008. "Technical Note--Price Promotions in Asymmetric Duopolies with Heterogeneous Consumers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2081-2087, December.
    27. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
    28. Rajiv Lal & Ram Rao, 1997. "Supermarket Competition: The Case of Every Day Low Pricing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(1), pages 60-80.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fabra, Natalia & Montero, Juan Pablo, 2017. "Product Choice and Price Discrimination in Markets with Search Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 12046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Mucunska Palevska, Valentina & Novkovska, Blagica, 2018. "The Participation Of Ict In Activities Of Economic Subjects In Small Economy," UTMS Journal of Economics, University of Tourism and Management, Skopje, Macedonia, vol. 9(2), pages 157-168.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price discrimination; Online markets; Merger analysis;

    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
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:14:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s11129-016-9168-3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.