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Price Discrimination with Asymmetric Firms: The Case of the U.S. Carbonated Soft Drinks Market

  • Liu, Yizao
  • Shen, Shu

This paper investigates the relationship between price discrimination and vertical product differentiation, using National Brands and Private Labels in the Carbonated Soft Drink market as a case study. We decompose prices difference into quantity dis- count and cost difference across packagings and recover marginal cost by a structural demand model of consumer preference and firm behavior. Our results suggest that in the carbonated soft drinks market, both national brands and private labels offers quantity discount to consumers: consumers pay lower unit prices when buying larger packed soft drinks. In addition, the price curvature parameter is lower for private la- bels, implying that the price schedule is more curved for private label soft drinks than national brands. This means in the CSD market, private labels have more ability to perform price discrimination, segment consumers, and generate high revenues, com- paring to national brands. This result, to some extent, explains the growing market shares of private label soft drinks and the significant percentage of total sales from private labels goods for retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/124619
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington with number 124619.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124619
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  1. Ivaldi, M. & Martimort, D., 1992. "Competition Under Nonlinear Pricing," Papers 93.288, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  2. Bester, Helmut & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 1996. "Coupons and oligopolistic price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 227-242.
  3. Greg Shaffer & Z. John Zhang, 1995. "Competitive Coupon Targeting," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(4), pages 395-416.
  4. Crawford, Gregory S & Shum, Matthew, 2007. "Monopoly Quality Degradation and Regulation in Cable Television," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 181-219, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Vives, Xavier, 1988. "On the Strategic Choice of Spatial Price Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 122-37, March.
  7. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1988. "Spatial Price Discrimination with Heterogeneous Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 573-92, October.
  8. Liu, Qihong & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2005. "Imperfect price discrimination in a vertical differentiation model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 341-354, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Miravete, Eugenio J & Röller, Lars-Hendrik, 2003. "Competitive Non-Linear Pricing in Duopoly Equilibrium: The Early US Cellular Telephone Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 4069, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
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