Price discrimination is the practice of charging a different price for the same good or service. There are three of types of price discrimination – first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree price discrimination. First degree
First-degree discrimination, alternatively known as perfect price discrimination, occurs when a firm charges a different price for every unit consumed. The firm is able to charge the maximum possible price for each unit which enables the firm to capture all available consumer surplus for itself. In practice, first-degree discrimination is rare.
Second-degree price discrimination means charging a different price for different quantities, such as quantity discounts for bulk purchases. Third degree
Third-degree price discrimination means charging a different price to different consumer groups. For example, rail and tube travellers can be subdivided into commuter and casual travellers, and cinema goers can be subdivide into adults and children. Splitting the market into peak and off peak use is very common and occurs with gas, electricity, and telephone supply, as well as gym membership and parking charges. Third-degree discrimination is the commonest type. Necessary conditions for successful discrimination
Price discrimination can only occur if certain conditions are met. 1. The firm must be able to identify different market segments, such as domestic users and industrial users. 2. Different segments must have different price elasticities (PEDs). 3. Markets must be kept separate, either by time, physical distance and nature of use, such as Microsoft Office ‘Schools’ edition which is only available to educational institutions, at a lower price. 4. There must be no seepage between the two markets, which means that a consumer cannot purchase at the low price in the elastic sub-market, and then re-sell to other consumers in the inelastic sub-market, at a higher price. 5. The firm...
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