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Competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists

Author

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  • Ron Borzekowski
  • Raphael Thomadsen
  • Charles Taragin

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists. More specifically, we examine whether sellers are more likely to segregate consumers by offering a menu of quality choices (second-degree price discrimination) and/or offering different prices to readily identifiable groups of consumers (third-degree price discrimination) in more competitive markets. We also examine how the fineness with which consumers are divided corresponds to the level of competition in the market. ; The dataset includes information about all consumer response lists derived from mail order buyers (i.e. lists derived from catalogs) available for rental in 1997 and 2002. Using industry classifications, we create measures of competition for each list. We then use these measures to predict whether given lists utilize discriminatory pricing strategies. ; Our results indicate that lists facing more competition are more likely to implement second-degree and third-degree price discrimination, and when implementing second-degree price discrimination, to offer menus with more choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Borzekowski & Raphael Thomadsen & Charles Taragin, 2005. "Competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-56, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-56
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ying Fan & Chenyu Yang, 2014. "Competition, Product Proliferation and Welfare: A Study of the U.S. Smartphone Market," Working Papers 14-14, NET Institute.
    2. Cohen, Andrew, 2008. "Package size and price discrimination in the paper towel market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 502-516, March.
    3. Haizhen Lin & Isabelle Yijia Wang, 2015. "Competition and Price Discrimination: Evidence from the Parking Garage Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 522-548, September.
    4. Stephen Davies, Catherine Waddams Price, and Chris M. Wilson, 2014. "Nonlinear Pricing and Tariff Differentiation: Evidence from the British Electricity Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    5. Hwang, M. & Bronnenberg, B.J. & Thomadsen, R., 2010. "An empirical analysis of assortment similarities across U.S. supermarkets," Other publications TiSEM adc990b3-1d5b-4fab-8679-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Frank Limehouse & Michael Maloney & Kurt Rotthoff, 2012. "Peak-Load Versus Discriminatory Pricing: Evidence from the Golf Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 40(3), pages 151-165, May.
    7. Anja Lambrecht & Katja Seim & Naufel Vilcassim & Amar Cheema & Yuxin Chen & Gregory Crawford & Kartik Hosanagar & Raghuram Iyengar & Oded Koenigsberg & Robin Lee & Eugenio Miravete & Ozge Sahin, 2012. "Price discrimination in service industries," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 423-438, June.
    8. Katja Seim & V. Brian Viard, 2011. "The Effect of Market Structure on Cellular Technology Adoption and Pricing," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 221-251, May.
    9. Awudu Abdulai & Christian Kuhlgatz & Silke Schmitz, 2009. "Empirical investigation of price setting and quantity surcharges in the German food sector," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 331-350.
    10. Gil, Ricard & Hartmann, Wesley R., 2008. "Why Does Popcorn Cost So Much at the Movies? An Empirical Analysis of Metering Price Discrimination," Research Papers 1983, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    11. Ricard Gil & Wesley R. Hartmann, 2009. "Empirical Analysis of Metering Price Discrimination: Evidence from Concession Sales at Movie Theaters," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(6), pages 1046-1062, 11-12.
    12. Kutsal Dogan & Ernan Haruvy & Ram Rao, 2010. "Who should practice price discrimination using rebates in an asymmetric duopoly?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 61-90, March.
    13. Gil, Ricard & Riera-Crichton, Daniel & Ruzzier, Christian, 2016. "As Seen on TV: Price Discrimination and Competition in Television Advertising," MPRA Paper 75993, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Haizhen Lin & Yijia Wang, 2012. "Competition and Price Discrimination in the Parking Garage Industry," Working Papers 2012-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price discrimination ; Mailing list services industry;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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