Are loyalty-rewarding pricing schemes anti-competitive?
Many economists and policy analysts seem to believe that loyalty-rewarding pricing schemes, like frequent flyer programs, tend to reinforce firms' market power and hence are detrimental to consumer welfare. The existing academic literature has supported this view to some extent. In contrast, we argue that these programs are business stealing devices that enhance competition, in the sense of generating lower average transaction prices and higher consumer surplus. This result is robust to alternative specifications of the firms' commitment power and demand structures, and is derived in a theoretical model whose main predictions are compatible with the sparse empirical evidence.
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- Bulkley, George, 1992. "The role of loyalty discounts when consumers are uncertain of the value of repeat purchases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 91-101, March.
- Joshua S. Gans & Stephen P. King, 2006. "PAYING FOR LOYALTY: PRODUCT BUNDLING IN OLIGOPOLY -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 43-62, 03.
- Caminal, Ramon & Claici, Adina, 2005.
"Are loyalty-rewarding pricing schemes anti-competitive?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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