Nonlinear pricing beyond the demand profile approach

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Wilson [16] introduced a general methodology to deal with monopolistic pricing in situations where customers have private information on their tastes (‘types’). It is based on the demand profile of customers: For each nonlinear tariff by the monopolist the demand at a given level of product (or quality) is the measure of customers’ types whose marginal utility is at least the marginal tariff (‘price’). When the customers’ marginal utility has a natural ordering (i.e., the Spence and Mirrlees Condition), such demand profile is very easy to perform. In this paper we will present a particular model with one-dimensional type where the Spence and Mirrlees condition (SMC) fails and the demand profile approach results in a suboptimal solution for the monopolist. Moreover, we will suggest a generalization of the demand profile procedure that improves the monopolist’s profit when the SMC does not hold.

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