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Robust Monopoly Pricing

We consider a robust version of the classic problem of optimal monopoly pricing with incomplete information. In the robust version of the problem the seller only knows that demand will be in a neighborhood of a given model distribution. We characterize the optimal pricing policy under two distinct, but related, decision criteria with multiple priors: (i) maximin expected utility and (ii) minimax expected regret. While the classic monopoly policy and the maximin criterion yield a single deterministic price, minimax regret always prescribes a random pricing policy, or equivalently, a multi-item menu policy. The resulting optimal pricing policy under either criterion is robust to the model uncertainty. Finally we derive distinct implications of how a monopolist responds to an increase in ambiguity under each criterion.

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File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d15/d1527-r.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1527R.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision: Apr 2007
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1527r
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Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  2. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1989. "Maxmin Expected Utility with Non-Unique Prior," Post-Print hal-00753237, HAL.
  3. Dirk Bergemann & Karl H. Schlag, 2007. "Pricing without Priors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1625, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Ludovic Renou & Karl H. Schlag, 2008. "Minimax regret and strategic uncertainty," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/2, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Apr 2008.
  5. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
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  8. Emel Filiz & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2005. "Auctions with Anticipated Regret," Experimental 0511006, EconWPA.
  9. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2007. "Regret in auctions: theory and evidence," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 81-101, October.
  10. Bose, Subir & Ozdenoren, Emre & Pape, Andreas, 2006. "Optimal auctions with ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 411-438, December.
  11. Joerg Oechssler & Frank Riedel, 1998. "Evolutionary Dynamics on Infinite Strategy Spaces," Game Theory and Information 9805002, EconWPA, revised 12 May 1998.
  12. Chamberlain, Gary, 2000. "Econometrics and decision theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 255-283, April.
  13. Kim-Sau Chung & Jeffrey C. Ely, 2003. "Implementation with Near-Complete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 857-871, 05.
  14. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "A Theory of Monopoly Pricing Schemes with Demand Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 347-65, June.
  15. Linhart, P. B. & Radner, R., 1989. "Minimax-regret strategies for bargaining over several variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 152-178, June.
  16. Stoye, Jörg, 2011. "Axioms for minimax regret choice correspondences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2226-2251.
  17. Prasad Kislaya, 2003. "Non-robustness of some economic models," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-9, May.
  18. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans, 1989. "The Effect of Regret on Optimal Bidding in Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(6), pages 685-692, June.
  19. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 2000. "The Optimal Mechanism for Selling to a Budget-Constrained Buyer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 198-233, June.
  20. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
  21. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
  22. F J Anscombe & R J Aumann, 2000. "A Definition of Subjective Probability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7591, David K. Levine.
  23. Hayashi, Takashi, 2008. "Regret aversion and opportunity dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 242-268, March.
  24. Raymond J. Deneckere & R. Preston McAfee, 1996. "Damaged Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 149-174, 06.
  25. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  26. John Riley & Richard Zeckhauser, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-289.
  27. Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2007. "Auctions with Anticipated Regret: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1407-1418, September.
  28. Jörg Stoye, 2011. "Statistical decisions under ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 129-148, February.
  29. Ilya Segal, 2003. "Optimal Pricing Mechanisms with Unknown Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 509-529, June.
  30. Neeman, Zvika, 2003. "The effectiveness of English auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 214-238, May.
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