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Publications

2021

Behavior based price personalization under vertical product differentiation

Authors
Garella, P; Laussel, D; Resende, J;

Publication
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION

Abstract
We study price personalization in a two period duopoly with vertically differentiated products. In the second period, a firm not only knows the purchase history of all customers, as in standard Behavior Based Price Discrimination models, but it also collects detailed information on its old customers, using it to engage in price personalization. The analysis reveals that there exists a natural market for each firm, defined as the set of customers that cannot be poached by the rival in the second period. The equilibrium is unique, except when firms are ex-ante almost identical. In equilibrium, only the firm with the largest natural market poaches customers from the rival. This firm has highest profits but not necessarily the largest market share. Aggregate profits are lower than under uniform pricing. All consumers gain, total welfare is higher herein than under uniform pricing if firms' natural markets are sufficiently asymmetric. The low quality firm chooses the minimal quality level and a quality differential arises, though the exact choice for the high quality depends upon the cost specification.

2021

Asymmetric Information and Differentiated Durable Goods Monopoly: Intra-Period Versus Intertemporal Discrimination

Authors
Laussel, D; Long, NV; Resende, J;

Publication
DYNAMIC GAMES AND APPLICATIONS

Abstract
A durable good monopolist faces a continuum of heterogeneous customers who make purchase decisions by comparing present and expected price-quality offers. The monopolist designs a sequence of price-quality menus to segment the market. We consider the Markov perfect equilibrium (MPE) of a game where the monopolist is unable to commit to future price-quality menus. We obtain the novel results that: (a) under certain conditions, the monopolist covers the whole market in the first period (even when a static Mussa-Rosen monopolist would not cover the whole market), because this is a strategic means to convince customers that lower prices would not be offered in future periods and that (b) this can happen only under the stage-wise Stackelberg leadership assumption (whereby consumers base their expectations on the value of the state variable at the end of the period). Conditions under which MPE necessarily involves sequentially trading are also derived.

2020

Complementary Monopolies with asymmetric information

Authors
Laussel, D; Resende, J;

Publication
ECONOMIC THEORY

Abstract
We investigate how asymmetric information on final demand affects strategic interaction between a downstream monopolist and a set of upstream monopolists, who independently produce complementary inputs. We study an intrinsic private common agency game in which each supplier i independently proposes a pricing schedule contract to the assembler, specifying the supplier’s payment as a function of the assembler’s purchase of input i. We provide a necessary and sufficient equilibrium condition. A lot of equilibria satisfy this condition but there is a unique Pareto-undominated Nash equilibrium from the suppliers’ point of view. In this equilibrium, there are unavoidable efficiency losses due to excessively low sales of the good. However, suppliers may be able to limit these distortions by implicitly coordinating on an equilibrium with a rigid (positive) output in bad demand circumstances. © 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

2020

Quality and price personalization under customer recognition: A dynamic monopoly model with contrasting equilibria

Authors
Laussel, D; Van Long, N; Resende, J;

Publication
JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC DYNAMICS & CONTROL

Abstract
We present a model of market hyper-segmentation, where a monopolist acquires within a short time all information about the preferences of consumers who purchase its vertically differentiated products. The firm offers a new price/quality schedule after each commitment period. Lower consumer types may have an incentive to delay their purchases until next period to obtain a better introductory offer. The monopolist counters this incentive by offering higher informational rents. Considering the dynamic game played by the monopolist and its customers, we find that there is always a Markov perfect equilibrium (MPE) in which the firm immediately sells the good to all customers, offering the Mussa-Rosen static equilibrium schedule to first time customers (and getting full commitment profits). However, if the commitment period between two offers is long enough, there is another MPE with gradual market expansion. Contrary to the Coasian result for a durable-good monopoly, we find that in both equilibria the profit of the monopolist increases (and the aggregate consumers surplus decreases) as the interval of commitment shrinks. The model yields policy implications for regulations on collection and storage of customers information.

2020

The curse of knowledge: having access to customer information can reduce monopoly profits

Authors
Laussel, D; Long, NV; Resende, J;

Publication
RAND JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS

Abstract
We show that a monopolist's profit is higher if he refrains from collecting coarse information on his customers, sticking to constant uniform pricing rather than recognizing customers' segments through their purchase history. In the Markov perfect equilibrium with coarse information collection, after each commitment period, a new introductory price is offered to attract new customers, creating a new market segment for price discrimination. Eventually, the whole market is covered. Shortening the commitment period results in lower profits. These results sharply differ from the ones obtained when the firm can uncover the exact willingness-to-pay of each previous customer.