Intertemporal Pricing with Unobserved Consumer Arrival Times
We examine optimal selling mechanisms with ex-ante commitment for a nondurable good when the seller does not observe the times at which strategic consumers arrive on the market and how much they are willing to pay for the good. Assuming consumer risk neutrality, we demonstrate in this two-dimensional screening problem that stochastic mechanisms are suboptimal. In practice, this means that quantity rationing and behavior-based price discrimination do not improve the profit compared to a simple time-dependent price schedule. We explain how the optimal profit may be achieved with a first-come first-served policy
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