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Price Discrimination in Markets for Experts' Services


  • Dulleck, Uwe
  • Kerschbamer, Rudolf


This Paper studies the consequences of price discrimination in a market for experts’ services. In the case of experts markets, where the expert observes the intervention that a consumer needs to fix his problem and also provides a treatment, price discrimination proceeds along the dimension of quality of advice offered. High quality advice and appropriate treatment is provided to the most profitable market segment only. Less profitable consumers are induced to demand either unnecessary or insufficient procedures. The welfare consequences of price discrimination are ambiguous: On the one hand, price discrimination increases the number of consumers that get an intervention. On the other hand, some consumers that are efficiently served under non-discrimination get the wrong procedure if the expert can discriminate among customers.

Suggested Citation

  • Dulleck, Uwe & Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2003. "Price Discrimination in Markets for Experts' Services," CEPR Discussion Papers 4155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4155

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Asher Wolinsky, 2003. "Second Opinions and Price Competition: Inefficiency in the Market for Expert Advice," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 417-437.
    2. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "The Economics of Breakdowns, Checkups, and Cures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 53-74, February.
    3. Carolyn Pitchik & Andrew Schotter, 1993. "Information Transmission in Regulated Markets," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(4), pages 815-829, November.
    4. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    5. Emons, Winand, 2001. "Credence goods monopolists," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 375-389, March.
    6. Winand Emons, 1997. "Credence Goods and Fraudelent Experts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 107-119, Spring.
    7. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
    8. Asher Wolinsky, 1993. "Competition in a Market for Informed Experts' Services," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(3), pages 380-398, Autumn.
    9. Dulleck, Uwe & Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2001. "On Doctors, Mechanics and Computer Specialists. Or Where are the Problems with Credence Goods?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter & Uwe Dulleck, 2009. "The Impact of Distributional Preferences on (Experimental) Markets for Expert Services," Working Papers 2009-28, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

    More about this item


    credence goods; experts; fraud; price discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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