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Estimating Demand for Local Telephone Service with Asymmetric Information and Optional Calling Plans

  • Miravete, Eugenio J

This Paper studies the theoretical and econometric implications of agents’ uncertainty about their future consumption when a monopolist offers them either a unique, mandatory nonlinear tariff, or a choice in advance among a menu of optional two-part tariffs. In this model, agents’ uncertainty is resolved through individual and privately known shocks on their types. In such a situation the principal may screen agents according to their ex-ante or ex-post type, by offering either a menu of optional tariffs or a standard nonlinear schedule. The theoretical implications of the model are used to evaluate the tariff experiment run by South Central Bell in two cities of Kentucky in 1986. The empirical approach explicitly accounts for the existence of informational asymmetries between local telephone users and the monopolist, leading to different, nested, econometric specifications under symmetric and asymmetric information. The empirical evidence suggests that there exists a significant asymmetry of information between consumers and the monopolist under both tariff regimes. Both expected welfare and profits fail to increase with the introduction of optional tariffs for the estimated value of the parameters.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2635.

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Date of creation: Dec 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2635
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  1. Park, Rolla Edward & Wetzel, Bruce M & Mitchell, Bridger M, 1983. "Price Elasticities for Local Telephone Calls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1699-730, November.
  2. Clay, Karen B & Sibley, David S & Srinagesh, Padmanabhan, 1992. "Ex Post vs. Ex Ante Pricing: Optional Calling Plans and Tapered Tariffs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 115-38, June.
  3. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  4. Jean-Charles Rochet & Philippe Chone, 1998. "Ironing, Sweeping, and Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 783-826, July.
  5. Miravete, Eugenio J, 1996. "Screening Consumers through Alternative Pricing Mechanisms," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 111-32, March.
  6. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, December.
  7. Eugenio J. Miravete, . "Quantity Discounts for Taste-Varying Consumers," CARESS Working Papres 99-11, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  8. James G. MacKinnon & Halbert White, 1983. "Some Heteroskedasticity Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimators with Improved Finite Sample Properties," Working Papers 537, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-27, May.
  10. Spulber, Daniel F, 1992. "Optimal Nonlinear Pricing and Contingent Contracts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 747-72, November.
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  13. Lee, Lung-fei & Maddala, G S & Trost, R P, 1980. "Asymptotic Covariance Matrices of Two-Stage Probit and Two-Stage Tobit Methods for Simultaneous Equations Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 491-503, March.
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  17. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  18. Miravete, Eugenio J, 2000. "Choosing the Wrong Calling Plan? Ignorance, Learning, and Risk Aversion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Courty, Pascal & Li, Hao, 2000. "Sequential Screening," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 697-717, October.
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  21. McDonald, James B. & Xu, Yexiao J., 1995. "A generalization of the beta distribution with applications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 427-428, October.
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  23. Paarsch, Harry J., 1997. "Deriving an estimate of the optimal reserve price: An application to British Columbian timber sales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 333-357, June.
  24. Rochet, J. C., 1985. "The taxation principle and multi-time Hamilton-Jacobi equations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 113-128, April.
  25. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
  26. Train, Kenneth E & Ben-Akiva, Moshe & Atherton, Terry, 1989. "Consumption Patterns and Self-selecting Tariffs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 62-73, February.
  27. Spulber, Daniel F, 1992. "Capacity-Contingent Nonlinear Pricing by Regulated Firms," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 299-319, December.
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