IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/224.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Sequential screening

Author

Listed:
  • Pascal Courty
  • Li Hao

Abstract

We present a model of price discrimination where a monopolist faces a consumer who is privately informed about the distribution of his valuation for an indivisible unit of good but has yet to learn privately the actual valuation. The monopolist sequentially screens the consumer with a menu of contracts: the consumer self-selects once by choosing a contract and then self-selects again when he learns the actual valuation. A deterministic sequential mechanism is a menu of refund contracts, each consisting of an advance payment and a refund amount in case of no consumption, but sequential mechanisms may involve randomization. We characterize the optimal sequential mechanism when some consumer types are more eager in the sense of first-order stochastic dominance, and when some types face greater valuation uncertainty in the sense of mean-preserving-spread. We show that it can be optimal to subsidize consumer types with smaller valuation uncertainty (through low refund, as in airplane ticket pricing) in order to reduce the rent to those with greater uncertainty. The size of distortion depends both on the type distribution and on how informative the consumer's initial private knowledge is about his valuation, but not on how much he initially knows about the valuation per se.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 1997. "Sequential screening," Economics Working Papers 224, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:224
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/224.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Russell Cooper, 1984. "On Allocative Distortions in Problems of Self-Selection," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 568-577, Winter.
    2. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
    3. Roger B. Myerson, 1988. "Mechanism Design," Discussion Papers 796, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-641, June.
    5. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
    6. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2002. "Estimating Demand for Local Telephone Service with Asymmetric Information and Optional Calling Plans," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 943-971.
    7. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    8. Miravete, Eugenio J, 1996. "Screening Consumers through Alternative Pricing Mechanisms," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 111-132, March.
    9. Harris Milton & Townsend, Robert M, 1981. "Resource Allocation under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 33-64, January.
    10. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
    11. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1983. "Bundling Decisions by a Multiproduct Monopolist with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 463-483, March.
    12. Baron, David P. & Besanko, David, 1984. "Regulation and information in a continuing relationship," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 267-302.
    13. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    14. Jean-Charles Rochet & Philippe Chone, 1998. "Ironing, Sweeping, and Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 783-826, July.
    15. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
    16. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    17. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
    18. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-1175, September.
    19. Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Optimal Auction Design," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 58-73, February.
    20. William James Adams & Janet L. Yellen, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-498.
    21. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1988. "Multidimensional incentive compatibility and mechanism design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 335-354, December.
    22. Wilson, Robert, 1997. "Nonlinear Pricing," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195115826.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price--discrimination; mechanism--design; demand--uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

    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:upf:upfgen:224. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    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.