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First-Degree Discrimination by a Duopoly: Pricing and Quality Choice

  • David Encaoua

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Abraham Hollander

    (UdeM - Université de Montréal - Université de Montréal)

The paper examines under what conditions vertically differentiated duopolists engage in first-degree price discrimination. Each firm decides on a pricing regime at a first stage and sets prices at a second stage. The paper shows that when unit cost is an increasing and convex function of quality, the discriminatory regime is the unique subgame-perfect equilibrium of such two-stage game. In contrast to the case of horizontal differentiation, the discriminatory equilibrium is not necessarily Pareto-dominated by a bilateral commitment to uniform pricing. Also, the quality choices of perfectly discriminating duopolists are welfare maximizing. The paper explains why a threat of entry may elicit price discrimination by an incumbent monopolist.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00177604.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Publication status: Published, The Berkeley Electronic Journal of Theoretical Economics, 2007, 7, 1, Article 14
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00177604
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00177604
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  1. Jean-Marc Bonnisseau & Rim Lahmandi-Ayed, 2004. "Vertical differentiation with non-uniform consumers¡ distribution," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques b04114, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  2. Emch Eric R., 2003. "Price Discrimination via Proprietary Aftermarkets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, April.
  3. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Customer Poaching and Brand Switching," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1871, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-50, March.
  5. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  6. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
  7. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  8. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  9. Anindya Ghose & Vidyanand Choudhary & Tridas Mukhopadhyay & Uday Rajan, 2002. "Personalized Pricing and Quality Differentiation on the Internet," Review of Marketing Science Working Papers 2-1-1005, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  10. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 1999. "Dynamic Competition with Customer Recognition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 604-631, Winter.
  11. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 2002. "Is Perfect Price Discrimination Really Efficient? An Analysis of Free Entry," Economics Discussion Papers 537, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  12. Crampes, C. & Hollander, A., 1991. "Duopoly and Quality Standards," Cahiers de recherche 9128, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  13. Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1992. "Duopoly with spatial and quantity- dependent price discrimination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 175-185, June.
  14. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  15. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Vives, Xavier, 1988. "On the Strategic Choice of Spatial Price Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 122-37, March.
  16. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2002. "Contidioning Prices on Purchase History," Microeconomics 0210001, EconWPA.
  17. Greg Shaffer & Z. John Zhang, 2000. "Pay to Switch or Pay to Stay: Preference-Based Price Discrimination in Markets with Switching Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 397-424, 06.
  18. Yannis Bakos, 2001. "The Emerging Landscape for Retail E-Commerce," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 69-80, Winter.
  19. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
  20. Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1990. "Endogenous switching costs in a duopoly model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 353-373, September.
  21. Aguirre, Inaki & Espinosa, Maria Paz & Macho-Stadler, Ines, 1998. "Strategic entry deterrence through spatial price discrimination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 297-314, May.
  22. Vidyanand Choudhary & Anindya Ghose & Tridas Mukhopadhyay & Uday Rajan, 2005. "Personalized Pricing and Quality Differentiation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(7), pages 1120-1130, July.
  23. Lederer, Phillip J & Hurter, Arthur P, Jr, 1986. "Competition of Firms: Discriminatory Pricing and Location," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 623-40, May.
  24. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  25. Hurter, Arthur Jr & Lederer, Phillip J., 1985. "Spatial duopoly with discriminatory pricing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 541-553, November.
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