Article

Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium with Unobserved Price Discrimination

Xavier D'Haultfoeuille, Isis Durrmeyer, and Philippe Février

Abstract

In markets where sellers are able to price discriminate, individuals pay different prices that may be unobserved by the econometrician. This paper considers the structural estimation of a demand and supply model à la Berry et al. (1995) with such price discrimination and limited information on prices taking the form of, e.g., observing list prices from catalogues or average prices. Within this framework, identification is achieved by using supply-side conditions, provided that the marginal costs of producing and selling the goods do not depend on the characteristics of the buyers. The model can be estimated by GMM using a nested fixed point algorithm that extends BLP’s algorithm to our setting. We apply our methodology to estimate the demand and supply in the French new automobile market. Our results suggest that discounting arising from price discrimination is important. The average discount is estimated to be 9.6%, with large variation depending on buyers’ characteristics and cars’ specifications. Our results are consistent with other evidence on transaction prices in France.

Keywords

demand and supply; unobserved transaction prices; price discrimination; automobiles;

JEL codes

  • C51: Model Construction and Estimation
  • D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

Replaces

Xavier D'Haultfoeuille, Isis Durrmeyer, and Philippe Février, Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium with Unobserved Price Discrimination, TSE Working Paper, n. 17-854, October 2017.

Reference

Xavier D'Haultfoeuille, Isis Durrmeyer, and Philippe Février, Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium with Unobserved Price Discrimination, The Review of Economic Studies, 2019, forthcoming.

Published in

The Review of Economic Studies, 2019, forthcoming