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The Analytics of the Pricing of Higher Education and Other Services in Which the Customers Are Inputs

  • Rothschild, Michael
  • White, Lawrence J

Many services provide outputs that depend partially on the customers as inputs; the presence of other customers often contributes to the output experienced by each purchaser. Higher education is the premier example; others are legion. The authors provide a simple model that addresses the questions of competitive pricing and allocative efficiency for these types of services. Prices that charge customers for what they get on net (output minus input) from the firm both are competitive and support efficient allocations; these prices internalize the apparent external effects of customers on each other. Few examples of such prices exist in the real world. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/261995
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 103 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 573-86

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:103:y:1995:i:3:p:573-86
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Jeffrey Rohlfs, 1974. "A Theory of Interdependent Demand for a Communications Service," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(1), pages 16-37, Spring.
  2. Mongell, Susan & Roth, Alvin E, 1991. "Sorority Rush as a Two-Sided Matching Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 441-64, June.
  3. Economides, Nicholas & White, Lawrence J., 1994. "Networks and compatibility: Implications for antitrust," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 651-662, April.
  4. H. Leibenstein, 1950. "Bandwagon, Snob, and Veblen Effects in the Theory of Consumers' Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 183-207.
  5. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
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