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Price Discrimination with Private and Imperfect Information

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Abstract

This paper investigates the competitive and welfare effects of information accuracy improvements in markets where firms can price discriminate after observing a private and noisy signal about a consumer's brand preference. I show that firms charge more to customers they believe have a brand preference for them, and that this price has an inverted-U shaped relationship with the signal's accuracy. In contrast, the price charged after a disloyal signal has been observed falls as the signal's accuracy rises. While industry profit and overall welfare fall monotonically as price discrimination is based on increasingly more accurate information, the reverse happens to consumer surplus. The model is also extended to a public information setting. For any level of the signal's accuracy, moving from public to private information boosts industry profit and welfare at the expense of consumer surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosa Branca Esteves, 2010. "Price Discrimination with Private and Imperfect Information," NIPE Working Papers 3/2010, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:3/2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
    2. Qihong Liu & Konstantinos Serfes, 2004. "Quality of Information and Oligopolistic Price Discrimination," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 671-702, December.
    3. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 2000. "Customer Poaching and Brand Switching," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 634-657, Winter.
    5. Esteves, Rosa-Branca, 2010. "Pricing with customer recognition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 669-681, November.
    6. Gehrig, Thomas & Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2011. "History-based price discrimination and entry in markets with switching costs: A welfare analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 732-739, June.
    7. Chen, Yuxin & Zhang, Z. John, 2009. "Dynamic targeted pricing with strategic consumers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 43-50, January.
    8. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 1999. "Dynamic Competition with Customer Recognition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 604-631, Winter.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Miettinen, Topi & Stenbacka, Rune, 2015. "Personalized pricing versus history-based pricing: implications for privacy policy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 56-68.
    2. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2009. "A Survey on the Economics of Behaviour-Based Price Discrimination," NIPE Working Papers 5/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    3. Fernando Alexandre & Miguel Portela & Carla Sá, 2008. "Admission conditions and graduates' employability," NIPE Working Papers 16/2008, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    4. Gehrig, Thomas & Stenbacka, Rune, 2013. "Screening-Based Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 9397, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Brokesova, Zuzana & Deck, Cary & Peliova, Jana, 2014. "Experimenting with purchase history based price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 229-237.
    6. Zuzana Brokesova & Cary Deck & Jana Peliova, 2014. "Experimenting with Behavior Based Pricing," Working Papers 14-12, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    7. Paulo Bastos & Natália P. Monteiro, 2011. "Managers and Wage Policies," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 957-984, December.
    8. Chongwoo Choe & Stephen King & Noriaki Matsushima, 2017. "Pricing with Cookies: Behavior-Based Price Discrimination and Spatial Competition," Monash Economics Working Papers 07-17, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    9. Andreia Amorim & Rosa-Branca Esteves, 2016. "Retention Strategies in a Switching Cost Model," NIPE Working Papers 10/2016, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    10. repec:eee:iepoli:v:40:y:2017:i:c:p:60-70 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competitive Price Discrimination; Customer Recognition; Imperfect Information.;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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