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Skewed Pricing in Two-Sided Markets: An IO approach

Author

Listed:
  • Wilko Bolt

    (De Nederlandsche Bank)

  • Alexander F Tieman

    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

In two-sided markets, one widely observes skewed pricing strategies, in which the price mark-up is much higher on one side of the market than the other. Using a simple model of two-sided markets, we show that, under constant elasticity of demand, skewed pricing is indeed pro?t maximizing. The most elastic side of the market is used to generate maximum demand by providing it with platform services at the lowest possible price. Through the positive network externality, full participation of the high-elasticity, lowprice side of the market increases market participation of the other side. As this side is less price elastic, the platform is able to extract high prices. Our skewed pricing result also carries over when analyzing the socially optimal prices. Interestingly, this leads to below-marginal cost pricing in the social optimum. We motivate the analysis by looking at the Dutch debit card system.
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Suggested Citation

  • Wilko Bolt & Alexander F Tieman, 2005. "Skewed Pricing in Two-Sided Markets: An IO approach," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 75, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc05:75
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-122, June.
    2. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, September.
    3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    4. Wright, Julian, 2003. "Optimal card payment systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 587-612, August.
    5. W. Bolt & A.F. Tieman, 2003. "Pricing Debit Card Payments Services: An IO approach," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 735, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. W. Bolt, 2003. "Retail Payments in the Netherlands: some Facts and Some Theory," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 722, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P, 2003. "The Neutrality of Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wilko Bolt & David Humphrey & Roland Uittenbogaard, 2005. "The Effect of Transaction Pricing on the Adoption of Electronic Payments: A Cross-Country Comparison," DNB Working Papers 071, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2005. "The economics of interchange fees and their regulation : an overview," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 73-120.
    3. Wilko Bolt & David Humphrey & Roland Uittenbogaard, 2008. "Transaction Pricing and the Adoption of Electronic Payments: A Cross-Country Comparison," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(1), pages 89-123, March.
    4. Bergman, Mats A., 2005. "A Welfare Ranking of Two-Sided Market Regimes," Working Paper Series 185, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Sep 2005.
    5. Weyl, E. Glen, 2008. "Monopolies in Two-Sided Markets: Comparative Statics and Identification," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt69c9c56z, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. Van Cayseele Patrick & Reynaerts Jo, 2011. "Complementary Platforms," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-33, March.
    7. Borzekowski, Ron & Kiser, Elizabeth K., 2008. "The choice at the checkout: Quantifying demand across payment instruments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 889-902, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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