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Is Perfect Price Discrimination Really Efficient? An Analysis of Free Entry Equilibria

  • V. Bhaskar

    (University of Essex, Wivenhoe)

  • Ted To

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

We analyze models of product differentiation with perfect price discrimination and free entry. Although perfect price discrimination ensures efficient output decisions given product characteristics, coordination failures may prevent efficiency in the choice of product characteristics. More fundamentally, even if we have efficient product choices for a fixed number of firms, one always has excessive entry in free entry equilibrium. Our results apply to a large class of models of product differentiation including location models as well as representative consumer models of the demand for variety. These results also apply to models of common agency or lobbying with free entry and imply that one has excessive entry into the ranks of lobbyists.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0004011.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0004011
Note: Type of Document - LaTeX; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX; to print on any; pages: 22 + title
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  1. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  2. Katz, Michael L, 1984. "Price Discrimination and Monopolistic Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1453-71, November.
  3. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 1996. "Complements and substitutes in common agency," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 325-345, December.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  5. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
  6. W. B. MacLeod & G. Norman & J.F. Thisse, 1987. "Price Discrimination and Equilibrium in Monopolistic Competition," Working Papers 701, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  8. Raymond Deneckere & Michael Rothschild, 1992. "Monopolistic Competition and Preference Diversity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 361-373.
  9. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-83, September.
  10. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Discussion Papers 1259, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Price discrimination," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 597-654 Elsevier.
  12. 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.
  13. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  14. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
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