IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cwl/cwldpp/1896r.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 1896R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1896r
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d18/d1896-r.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Robert J. Aumann, 1995. "Repeated Games with Incomplete Information," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011476, January.
    5. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    6. Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2011. "Bayesian Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2590-2615, October.
    7. Varian, Hal R, 1985. "Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 870-875, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
    10. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Simon Cowan, 2016. "Welfare-increasing third-degree price discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(2), pages 326-340, May.
    13. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    14. 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.
    15. Simon Cowan, 2012. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination and Consumer Surplus," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 333-345, June.
    16. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    17. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2013. "Robust Predictions in Games With Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1251-1308, July.
    18. repec:cwl:cwldpp:1821rrr is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Simon Cowan, 2016. "Welfare-increasing third-degree price discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(2), pages 326-340, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Roland Strausz, 2017. "A Theory of Crowdfunding: A Mechanism Design Approach with Demand Uncertainty and Moral Hazard," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1430-1476, June.
    4. Carroll, Gabriel, 2016. "Informationally robust trade and limits to contagion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 334-361.
    5. Roesler, Anne-Katrin & Szentes, Balázs, 2017. "Buyer-optimal learning and monopoly pricing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84061, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Ritz, Robert A., 2014. "Price discrimination and limits to arbitrage: An analysis of global LNG markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 324-332.
    7. von Wangenheim, Jonas, 2017. "Consumer-Optimal Information Design," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 53, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    8. Hedlund, Jonas, 2017. "Bayesian persuasion by a privately informed sender," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 229-268.
    9. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2015. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107687899.
    10. Asseyer, Andreas, 2016. "Optimal Information Disclosure and Collusion," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145779, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Andreas Leibbrandt, 2016. "Behavioral Constraints on Pricing: Experimental Evidence on Price Discrimination and Customer Antagonism," CESifo Working Paper Series 6214, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Matthew Gentzkow & Emir Kamenica, 2014. "Costly Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 457-462, May.
    13. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:2:p:343-362 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Chao, Yong & Nahata, Babu, 2015. "The degree of distortions under second-degree price discrimination," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 208-213.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    First degree price discrimination; Second degree price discrimination; Third degree price discrimination; Private information; Privacy; Bayes correlated equilibrium;

    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

    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:1896r. 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: (Matthew Regan). General contact details of provider: http://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 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.

    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.