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Pricing Scheme Choice: How Process Affects Outcome

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  • Natalia Shestakova

Abstract

Standard price discrimination theories are based on the assumption that consumers use their future demand estimates to evaluate net utility of each pricing scheme and choose the scheme with the highest value. However, some evidence suggests that consumers might not always behave this way. The experiment presented in this paper shows that indeed a substantial proportion of subjects choose not to evaluate the net utility of the offered pricing schemes. Instead, they select from pricing schemes based on a comparison of the schemes' parameters. Interestingly, this selection approach leads to the correct pricing-scheme choice when subjects are not well aware of their demand, and to the incorrect choice when they are. The results call for alternative theories of price discrimination and corresponding policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Shestakova, 2010. "Pricing Scheme Choice: How Process Affects Outcome," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp411, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp411
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Choice process; heuristics; price discrimination; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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