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Equilibrium Price Dispersion Under Demand Uncertainty: The Roles of Costly Capacity and Market Structure

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  • James D. Dana Jr.

Abstract

When capacity is costly and prices are set in advance, firms facing uncertain demand will sell output at multiple prices and limit the quantity available at each price. I show that the optimal price strategy of a monopolist and the unique pure-strategy Nash equilibria of oligopolists both exhibit intrafirm price dispersion. Moreover, as the market becomes more competitive, prices become more dispersed, a pattern documented in the airline industry. While generating similar predictions, the model differs from the revenue management literature because it disregards market segmentation and fare restrictions that screen customers.

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  • James D. Dana Jr., 1999. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion Under Demand Uncertainty: The Roles of Costly Capacity and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 632-660, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:30:y:1999:i:winter:p:632-660
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