IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/trf/wpaper/330.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Uncertain Demand, Consumer Loss Aversion, and Flat-Rate Tariffs

Author

Listed:
  • Herweg, Fabian

Abstract

The so called flat-rate bias is a well documented phenomenon caused by consumers' desire to be insured against fluctuations in their billing amounts. This paper shows that expectation-based loss aversion provides a formal explanation for this bias. We solve for the optimal two-part tariff when contracting with loss-averse consumers who are uncertain about their demand. The optimal tariff is a flat rate if marginal cost of production is low compared to a consumer's degree of loss aversion and if there is enough variation in the consumer's demand. Moreover, if consumers differ with respect to the degree of loss aversion, firms' optimal menu of tariffs typically comprises a flat-rate contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Herweg, Fabian, 2010. "Uncertain Demand, Consumer Loss Aversion, and Flat-Rate Tariffs," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 330, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:330
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13224/1/330.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
    2. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
    4. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Karle, Heiko & Peitz, Martin, 2017. "De-targeting: Advertising an assortment of products to loss-averse consumers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 103-124.
    2. Stefanie Lena Hille, 2016. "The Myth of the Unscrupulous Energy User’s Dilemma: Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 327-347, September.
    3. repec:spr:joecth:v:65:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00199-017-1035-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jong-Hee Hahn & Jinwoo Kim & Sang-Hyun Kim & Jihong Lee, 2016. "Price Discrimination with Loss Averse Consumers," Working papers 2016rwp-97, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    5. Michael Grubb, 2015. "Behavioral Consumers in Industrial Organization: An Overview," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(3), pages 247-258, November.
    6. Michael D. Grubb, 2015. "Behavioral Consumers in Industrial Organization," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 879, Boston College Department of Economics.
    7. repec:bla:jemstr:v:25:y:2016:i:4:p:958-989 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Haucap, Justus & Heimeshoff, Ulrich & Lange, Mirjam R. J., 2014. "The impact of tariff diversity on broadband diffusion: An empirical analysis," 25th European Regional ITS Conference, Brussels 2014 101403, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    9. Rosato, Antonio, 2017. "Sequential negotiations with loss-averse buyers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 290-304.
    10. Heiko Karle & Martin Peitz, 2014. "Competition under consumer loss aversion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(1), pages 1-31, March.
    11. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:681-705 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:juecon:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:31-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kohei Daido & Takeshi Murooka, 2016. "Team Incentives and Reference-Dependent Preferences," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 958-989, December.
    14. Courty, Pascal & Nasiry, Javad, 2015. "Loss Aversion and the Uniform Pricing Puzzle for Vertically Differentiated Products," CEPR Discussion Papers 10523, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. repec:eee:jeborg:v:143:y:2017:i:c:p:165-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Daido, Kohei & Morita, Kimiyuki & Murooka, Takeshi & Ogawa, Hiromasa, 2013. "Task assignment under agent loss aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 35-38.
    17. Isabel Günther & Johannes K. Maier, 2014. "Poverty, Vulnerability, and Reference-Dependent Utility," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(1), pages 155-181, March.
    18. repec:kap:jrisku:v:55:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9269-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer Loss Aversion; Flat-Rate Tariffs; Nonlinear Pricing; Uncertain Demand;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:330. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tamilla Benkelberg). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.