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When does third-degree price discrimination reduce social welfare, and when does it raise it?

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  • Simon GB Cowan
  • Simon Cowan

Abstract

Sufficient conditions are developed for third-degree price discrimination by a monopolist serving all markets to reduce and raise social welfare. Welfare falls if the demand function in the market whose price is higher with discrimination is at least as convex as that in the other market (at the non-discriminatory price). Welfare rises if inverse demand in the low-price market is more convex (at the discriminatory price) than inverse demand in the high-price market and the discriminatory prices are close together, so the cost of misallocation is less than the benefit of higher output.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon GB Cowan & Simon Cowan, 2008. "When does third-degree price discrimination reduce social welfare, and when does it raise it?," Economics Series Working Papers 410, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:410
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper410.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Aguirre Pérez, Iñaki, 2009. "Joan Robinson Was Almost Right: Output under Third-Degree Price Discrimination," IKERLANAK 2009-38, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
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    16. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2008:i:11:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Braouezec, 2009. "Incomplete third-degree price discrimination, and market partition problem," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2908-2917.
    2. Aguirre Pérez, Iñaki, 2009. "Joan Robinson Was Almost Right: Output under Third-Degree Price Discrimination," IKERLANAK 2009-38, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    3. Adida, Elodie & Ratisoontorn, Nantaporn, 2011. "Consignment contracts with retail competition," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 215(1), pages 136-148, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price Discrimination; Monopoly;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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