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Information Acquisition and Price Discrimination

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  • Fatemi, Farshad

Abstract

We consider a Hotelling model of price competition where firms may acquire costly information regarding the preferences (i.e. “location”) of customers. By purchasing additional information, a firm has a finer partition regarding customer preferences, and its pricing decisions must be measurable with respect to this partition. If information acquisition decisions are common knowledge at the point where firms compete via prices, we show that a pure strategy subgame perfect equilibrium exists, and that there is “excess information acquisition” from the point of view of the firms. If information acquisition decisions are private information, a pure strategy equilibrium fails to exist. We compute a mixed strategy equilibrium for a range of parameter values.

Suggested Citation

  • Fatemi, Farshad, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Price Discrimination," MPRA Paper 20399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20399
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/20399/1/MPRA_paper_20399.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Hamilton, Jonathan & Slutsky, Steven, 2004. "Nonlinear price discrimination with a finite number of consumers and constrained recontracting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 737-757, June.
    4. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
    5. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 2004. "Is Perfect Price Discrimination Really Efficient? An Analysis of Free Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 762-776, Winter.
    6. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-366, May.
    7. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
    8. Armstrong, Mark, 2006. "Price discrimination," MPRA Paper 4693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Severin Borenstein, 1985. "Price Discrimination in Free-Entry Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 380-397, Autumn.
    10. Qihong Liu & Konstantinos Serfes, 2005. "Imperfect price discrimination, market structure, and efficiency," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1191-1203, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information Acquisition; Price Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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