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Dynamic Screening with Limited Commitment

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  • Rahul Deb
  • Maher Said

Abstract

We examine a model of dynamic screening and price discrimination in which the seller has limited commitment power. Two cohorts of anonymous, patient, and risk-neutral buyers arrive over two periods. Buyers in the first cohort arrive in period one, are privately informed about the distribution of their values, and then privately learn the value realizations in period two. Buyers in the second cohort are ``last-minute shoppers'' that already know their values upon their arrival in period two. The seller can fully commit to a long-term contract with buyers in the first cohort, but cannot commit to the future contractual terms that will be offered to second-cohort buyers. The expected second-cohort contract serves as an endogenous type-dependent outside option for first-cohort buyers, reducing the seller's ability to extract rents via sequential contracts. We derive the seller-optimal equilibrium and show that the seller mitigates this effect by inducing some first-cohort buyers to strategically delay their time of contracting---the seller manipulates the timing of contracting in order to endogenously generate a commitment to maintaining high future prices. The seller's optimal contract pools low types, separates high types, and induces intermediate types to delay contracting.

Suggested Citation

  • Rahul Deb & Maher Said, 2013. "Dynamic Screening with Limited Commitment," Working Papers tecipa-485, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-485
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Pavan, 2015. "Introduction to JET Symposium Issue on "Dynamic Contracts and Mechanism Design"," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2016, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Benjamin Edelman & Sonia Jaffe & Scott Duke Kominers, 2016. "To Groupon or not to Groupon: The profitability of deep discounts," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 39-53, March.
    3. Skreta, Vasiliki, 2015. "Optimal auction design under non-commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 854-890.
    4. repec:eee:gamebe:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:317-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:595-612 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Krähmer, Daniel & Strausz, Roland, 2015. "Ex post information rents in sequential screening," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 257-273.
    7. Akan, Mustafa & Ata, Barış & Dana, James D., 2015. "Revenue management by sequential screening," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 728-774.
    8. Bergemann, Dirk & Pavan, Alessandro, 2015. "Introduction to Symposium on Dynamic Contracts and Mechanism Design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 679-701.
    9. Pagnozzi, Marco & Piccolo, Salvatore, 2017. "Contracting with endogenous entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 85-110.
    10. Garrett, Daniel F., 2017. "Dynamic mechanism design: Dynamic arrivals and changing values," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 595-612.
    11. Krähmer, Daniel & Strausz, Roland, 2017. "Sequential versus Static Screening: an Equivalence Result," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 24, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric information; Dynamic mechanism design; Limited commitment; Sequential screening; Type-dependent participation;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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