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The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in a Differentiated Oligopoly

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  • Takanori Adachi
  • Noriaki Matsushima

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between horizontal product differentiation and the welfare effects of third-degree price discrimination in oligopoly. By deriving linear demand from a representative consumer's utility and focusing on the symmetric equilibrium of a pricing game, we characterize the conditions relating to such demand properties as substitutability and complementarity for price discrimination to improve social welfare. In particular, we show that price discrimination can improve social welfare if firms' brands are substitutes in a market where the discriminatory price is higher and complements in one where it is lower, but welfare never improves in the reverse situation. We verify, however, that consumer surplus is never improved by price discrimination; welfare improvement by price discrimination is solely due to an increase in the firms' profits. This means that there is no chance that firms suffer from a "prisoners' dilemma," that is, firms are better off by switching from uniform pricing to price discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Takanori Adachi & Noriaki Matsushima, 2011. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in a Differentiated Oligopoly," ISER Discussion Paper 0800, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0800
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    Cited by:

    1. Amarjyoti Mahanta, 2016. "Contemporaneous Most-Favoured-Customer Pricing Policy vs. Price Discrimination in a Differentiated Product Duopoly Market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 75-83.
    2. Aguirre Iñaki, 2016. "On the Economics of the “Meeting Competition Defense” Under the Robinson–Patman Act," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 1213-1238, September.
    3. Francisco Galera & Pedro Mendi & Juan Carlos Molero, 2017. "Quality Differences, Third-Degree Price Discrimination, And Welfare," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 339-351, January.
    4. Adachi, Takanori, 2023. "A sufficient statistics approach for welfare analysis of oligopolistic third‐degree price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    5. Akio Kawasaki, 2022. "Pricing Strategies and Partial Privatization Policy Based on Complementary Competitive Market," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 99-123, March.
    6. Aguirre, Iñaki, 2019. "Oligopoly price discrimination, competitive pressure and total output," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 13, pages 1-16.
    7. Aguirre Pérez, Iñaki, 2011. "Multimarket Competition and Welfare Effects of Price discrimination," IKERLANAK info:eu-repo/grantAgreeme, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    8. Aguirre, Iñaki, 2017. "Cournot Oligopoly, Price Discrimination and Total Output," MPRA Paper 80166, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Zheng Zhang & Yingtong Wang & Qingchun Meng & Qiang Han, 2022. "Impact of Third-Degree Price Discrimination on Welfare under the Asymmetric Price Game," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 10(8), pages 1-16, April.
    10. Gyódi Kristóf & Sobolewski Maciej & Ziembiński Michał, 2017. "What Drives Price Dispersion in the European E-commerce Industry?," Central European Economic Journal, Sciendo, vol. 3(50), pages 53-71, December.
    11. Akio Kawasaki, 2020. "Airport pricing strategy by hub airports: does the number of local airports matter?," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 835-857, October.
    12. Aguirre, Iñaki & Yenipazarli, Arda, 2022. "A Rationale for the “Meeting Competition Defense” when Competitive Pressure Varies Across Markets," MPRA Paper 113746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Miklós-Thal, Jeanine & Shaffer, Greg, 2021. "Third-degree price discrimination in oligopoly with endogenous input costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    14. Takanori ADACHI, 2022. "Recent Advances in the Theory of Third-Degree Price Discrimination: A Brief Survey," Discussion papers e-22-006, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
    15. Guo, Wen-Chung & Lai, Fu-Chuan, 2022. "Price discrimination under online–offline competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 216(C).
    16. Akio Kawasaki, 2023. "Pricing Strategies and Partial Privatization Policy," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 62(3), pages 293-319, May.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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