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Competitive Non-linear Pricing and Bundling

  • Mark Armstrong
  • John Vickers

We examine competitive non-linear pricing in a model in which consumers have heterogeneous and elastic demands and can buy from more than one supplier. It is an equilibrium for firms to offer a menu of efficient two-part tariffs, where the discount for one-stop shopping is such that the elasticity of "demand for two-stop shopping" equals two. Compared with linear pricing, non-linear pricing tends to raise profit but harm consumers when: (i) demand is elastic, (ii) there is heterogeneity in consumer demand, (iii) consumers incur shopping costs when buying from more than one firm, and (iv) a consumer's brand preference for one product is correlated with her brand preference for another product. Non-linear pricing is more likely to lead to welfare gains when (iii) and (iv) hold, but (ii) does not. Copyright , Wiley-Blackwell.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00562.x
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 30-60

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:1:p:30-60
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  1. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
  2. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
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  8. Anderson, Simon P. & Leruth, Luc, 1993. "Why firms may prefer not to price discriminate via mixed bundling," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 49-61, March.
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  11. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
  12. John Thanassoulis, 2007. "Competitive Mixed Bundling and Consumer Surplus," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 437-467, 06.
  13. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
  14. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Stole, Lars A, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311, January.
  15. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  16. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1992. "Compatibility and Bundling of Complementary Goods in a Duopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 37-54, March.
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