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Does responsive pricing smooth demand shocks?

  • Pascal Courty
  • Mario Pagliero

Using data from a unique pricing experiment, we investigate Vickrey's conjecture that responsive pricing can be used to smooth both predictable and unpredictable demand shocks. Our evidence shows that increasing the responsiveness of price to demand conditions reduces the magnitude of deviations in capacity utilization rates from a pre-determined target level. A 10% increase in price variability leads to a decrease in the variability of capacity utilization rates between 2% and 6%. We discuss implications for the use of demand-side incentives to deal with congestible resources.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036846.2010.498350
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 30 ()
Pages: 4707-4721

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:30:p:4707-4721
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  1. William Vickrey, 1971. "Responsive Pricing of Public Utility Services," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 337-346, Spring.
  2. Courty, Pascal & Pagliero, Mario, 2010. "Price variation antagonism and firm pricing policies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 235-249, August.
  3. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "A Theory of Monopoly Pricing Schemes with Demand Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 347-65, June.
  4. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2003. "Choosing the Wrong Calling Plan? Ignorance and Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 297-310, March.
  5. Borenstein, Severin & Rose, Nancy L, 1994. "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 653-83, August.
  6. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  7. Pascal Courty & Mario Pagliero, 2006. "Responsive Pricing," 2006 Meeting Papers 315, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Crew, Michael A & Fernando, Chitru S & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1995. "The Theory of Peak-Load Pricing: A Survey," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 215-48, November.
  9. Thomas Taylor & Peter Schwarz, 2000. "Advance notice of real-time electricity prices," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 28(4), pages 478-488, December.
  10. Robert H. Patrick & Frank A. Wolak, 2001. "Estimating the Customer-Level Demand for Electricity Under Real-Time Market Prices," NBER Working Papers 8213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
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  14. Herriges, Joseph A, et al, 1993. "The Response of Industrial Customers to Electric Rates Based upon Dynamic Marginal Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 446-54, August.
  15. Aubin, Christophe & Fougère, Denis & Husson, Emmanuel & Ivaldi, Marc, 1994. "Real-Time Pricing of Electricity of Residential Customers: Econometric Analysis of an Experiment," IDEI Working Papers 46, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  16. Peter M. Schwarz & Thomas N. Taylor & Matthew Birmingham & Shana L. Dardan, 2002. "Industrial Response to Electricity Real-Time Prices: Short Run and Long Run," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 597-610, October.
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