Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Price Discrimination and Fairness Concerns

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Florian Englmaiera (University of Konstanz), Linda Gratzb (International Max-Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation), and Markus Reisingerc (Economics Department, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management) explain Price Discrimination and Fairness Concerns.

ABSTRACT: We analyze the profitability of third degree price discrimination under consideration of consumers' fairness concerns within an experiment and explain the results within a theoretical framework. We find that with an increase in the price differential negative reciprocal reactions by disadvantaged consumers become stronger compared to positive reciprocal reactions by advantaged consumers. Consequently, the profit maximizing price differential lies below the one predicted to be optimal by standard theory. Further, profitability increases when consumers who are regarded as poorer are charged lower prices compared to when the wealth of the different consumer groups is unknown.

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