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The Informational Benefit of Price Discrimination




We consider a monopoly supplying a homogeneous good to two separate markets with different demands. In one of the markets, some buyers do not know the quality of the good, but learn about it from observing prices. Under noisy demand, third-degree price discrimination is shown to alter the informational content of the price-signals received by the uninformed buyers. Specifically, discriminatory pricing have informational benefits over uniform pricing, i.e., the posterior beliefs of the uninformed buyers have a smaller bias and a lower variance.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Gendron-Saulnier & Marc Santugini, 2013. "The Informational Benefit of Price Discrimination," Cahiers de recherche 13-02, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  • Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:1302

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1995. "Product Safety: Liability, R&D, and Signaling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1187-1206, December.
    2. Armstrong, Mark, 2006. "Price discrimination," MPRA Paper 4693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Sanford Grossman, 1989. "The Informational Role of Prices," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572141, January.
    4. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008. "Communicating quality: a unified model of disclosure and signalling," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 973-989.
    5. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008. "Imperfect competition and quality signalling," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 163-183.
    6. Mirman, Leonard J. & Salgueiro, Egas M. & Santugini, Marc, 2014. "Noisy signaling in monopoly," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 504-511.
    7. Daughety, Andrew F. & Reinganum, Jennifer F., 2007. "Competition and confidentiality: Signaling quality in a duopoly when there is universal private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 94-120, January.
    8. Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Roy, Santanu, 2010. "Signaling quality through prices in an oligopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 192-207, January.
    9. Jeitschko, Thomas D. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Signaling in deterministic and stochastic settings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 39-55.
    10. Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-239, March.
    11. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    12. Asher Wolinsky, 1983. "Prices as Signals of Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 647-658.
    13. Daher, Wassim & Mirman, Leonard J. & Santugini, Marc, 2012. "Information in Cournot: Signaling with incomplete control," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 361-370.
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    Cited by:

    1. Catherine Gendron-Saulnier & Marc Santugini, 2013. "Noisy Learning and Price Discrimination: Implications for Information Dissemination and Profits," Cahiers de recherche 1335, CIRPEE.

    More about this item


    Market segmentation; Monopoly; Quality of information; Signaling; Third-degree price discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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