IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cwl/cwldpp/1896.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Limits of Price Discrimination

Author

Listed:

Abstract

We analyze the welfare consequences of a monopolist having additional information about consumers' tastes, beyond the prior distribution; the additional information can be used to charge different prices to different segments of the market, i.e., carry out "third degree price discrimination." We show that the segmentation and pricing induced by the additional information can achieve every combination of consumer and producer surplus such that: (i) consumer surplus is non-negative, (ii) producer surplus is at least as high as profits under the uniform monopoly price, and (iii) total surplus does not exceed the efficient gains from trade. As well as characterizing the welfare impact of price discrimination, we examine the limits of how prices and quantities can change under price discrimination. We also examine the limits of price discrimination in richer environments with quantity discrimination and limited ability to segment the market.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bergemann & Benjamin Brooks & Stephen Morris, 2013. "The Limits of Price Discrimination," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1896, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1896
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d18/d1896.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dirk Bergemann & Benjamin Brooks & Stephen Morris, 2015. "The Limits of Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 921-957, March.
    2. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    3. Robert J. Aumann, 1995. "Repeated Games with Incomplete Information," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011476.
    4. Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2011. "Bayesian Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2590-2615, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Dirk Bergemann & Benjamin Brooks & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Extremal Information Structures in the First Price Auction," Working Papers 055-2013, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Econometric Research Program..
    7. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    8. Schmalensee, Richard, 1981. "Output and Welfare Implications of Monopolistic Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 242-247, March.
    9. Simon Cowan, 2016. "Welfare-increasing third-degree price discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(2), pages 326-340, May.
    10. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    11. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    12. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    13. repec:cwl:cwldpp:1821rrr is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Simon Cowan, 2012. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination and Consumer Surplus," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 333-345, June.
    15. Iñaki Aguirre & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 2010. "Monopoly Price Discrimination and Demand Curvature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1601-1615, September.
    16. Curtis R. Taylor, 2004. "Consumer Privacy and the Market for Customer Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 631-650, Winter.
    17. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    18. Varian, Hal R, 1985. "Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 870-875, September.
    19. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
    20. Nahata, Babu & Ostaszewski, Krzysztof & Sahoo, P K, 1990. "Direction of Price Changes in Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1254-1258, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. repec:cwl:cwldpp:1896rrr is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2019. "Information Design: A Unified Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 57(1), pages 44-95, March.
    3. Vaissman Guinsburg, Pedro, 2020. "Information Design and Sensitivity to Market Fundamentals," MPRA Paper 101496, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Jun 2020.
    4. repec:cwl:cwldpp:1896rr is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Bonatti, 2019. "Markets for Information: An Introduction," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 85-107, August.
    6. Garrett, Daniel F., 2020. "Payoff Implications of Incentive Contracting," TSE Working Papers 20-1140, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Carroll, Gabriel, 2016. "Informationally robust trade and limits to contagion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 334-361.
    8. Bergemann, Dirk & Ottaviani, Marco, 2021. "Information Markets and Nonmarkets," CEPR Discussion Papers 16459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Daniel Garcia & Roee Teper & Matan Tsur, 2018. "Information Design in Insurance Markets: Selling Peaches in a Market for Lemons," CESifo Working Paper Series 6853, CESifo.
    10. Yamashita, Takuro, 2018. "Optimal Public Information Disclosure by Mechanism Designer," TSE Working Papers 18-936, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. Anton Kolotilin & Tymofiy Mylovanov & Andriy Zapechelnyuk & Ming Li, 2017. "Persuasion of a Privately Informed Receiver," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85(6), pages 1949-1964, November.
    12. Dirk Bergemann & Benjamin Brooks & Stephen Morris, 2017. "First‐Price Auctions With General Information Structures: Implications for Bidding and Revenue," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 107-143, January.
    13. Juan Passadore & Juan Xandri, 2019. "Robust Predictions in Dynamic Policy Games," 2019 Meeting Papers 1345, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Jong-Hee Hahn & Chan KIm, 2018. "Input price discrimination with differentiated final products," Working papers 2018rwp-118, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    15. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2016. "Information Design, Bayesian Persuasion, and Bayes Correlated Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 586-591, May.
    16. René Leal Vizcaíno & Teddy Mekonnen, 2019. "Bayesian Comparative Statics," Working Papers 2019-03, Banco de México.
    17. Simon Cowan, 2016. "Welfare-increasing third-degree price discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(2), pages 326-340, May.
    18. Asseyer, Andreas, 2020. "Collusion and delegation under information control," Discussion Papers 2020/3, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    19. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: Mark Armstrong & Robert Porter (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 2221-2299, Elsevier.
    20. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Conditioning Prices on Purchase History," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 367-381, May.
    21. Jeanne Hagenbach & Frédéric Koessler, 2019. "Partial Language Competence," Working Papers hal-03393108, HAL.
    22. Chan, Jimmy & Gupta, Seher & Li, Fei & Wang, Yun, 2019. "Pivotal persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 178-202.
      • Jimmy Chan & Seher Gupta & Fei Li & Yun Wang, 2018. "Pivotal Persuasion," Working Papers 2018-11-03, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    First degree price discrimination; Second degree price discrimination; Third degree price discrimination; Private information; Privacy; Bayes correlated equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1896. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cowleus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Matthew Regan (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cowleus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.