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A Guide to the Pitfalls of Identifying Price Discrimination

Author

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  • Lott, John R, Jr
  • Roberts, Russell D

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that plausible cost-based explanations exist for what are commonly perceived to be cases of price discrimination. The authors explain such commonly discussed problems as the price spreads of retail gasoline products, the "high" price of dinners at restaurants, the "high" price of popcorn at movie theaters, and the fact that airline ticket prices vary with how long the ticket is purchased before the flight's departure. Their explanations benefit from not relying on consumer ignorance or implicit collusion among numerous sellers. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lott, John R, Jr & Roberts, Russell D, 1991. "A Guide to the Pitfalls of Identifying Price Discrimination," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(1), pages 14-23, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:1:p:14-23
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2011. "Price Discrimination," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 22 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Cohen, Andrew, 2008. "Package size and price discrimination in the paper towel market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 502-516, March.
    3. Bayer, Ralph-C., 2010. "Intertemporal price discrimination and competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 273-293, February.
    4. Rosen, Sherwin & Rosenfield, Andrew M, 1997. "Ticket Pricing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 351-376, October.
    5. Asplund, Marcus & Eriksson, Rickard & Strand, Niklas, 2001. "Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: Evidence from Swedish Newspapers," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 468, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 01 Jan 2007.
    6. Li, Michael Z. F., 2001. "Pricing non-storable perishable goods by using a purchase restriction with an application to airline fare pricing," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 134(3), pages 631-647, November.
    7. Larry Karp & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2005. "When Promoters Like Scalpers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 477-508, June.
    8. Sara Fisher Ellison & Christopher M. Snyder, 2010. "COUNTERVAILING POWER IN WHOLESALE PHARMACEUTICALS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 32-53, March.
    9. McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 2001. "Why do black basketball players work more for less money?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 201-219, February.
    10. Aviv Nevo & Catherine Wolfram, 1999. "Prices and Coupons for Breakfast Cereals," NBER Working Papers 6932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:jpe:journl:1464 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Andreas Leibbrandt, 2016. "Behavioral Constraints on Pricing: Experimental Evidence on Price Discrimination and Customer Antagonism," CESifo Working Paper Series 6214, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    14. Yao Luo & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2014. "Structural Analysis of Nonlinear Pricing," Working Papers tecipa-518, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    15. Tomasz Stanisław Szopiński & Robert Nowacki, 2014. "Plane Ticket Price Dispersion in the Online Selling System in Poland," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 8(2), June.
    16. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2007. "The effects of competition on price dispersion in the airline industry: a panel analysis," Working Papers 07-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    17. Tomasz Kopczewski & Piotr Ziewiec, 2011. "Application of the multi-object first-price auction in the students registration system USOS," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 27.
    18. Clerides, Sofronis K., 2002. "Book value: intertemporal pricing and quality discrimination in the US market for books," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1385-1408, December.

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