Competitive Price Discrimination Strategies in a Vertical Channel Using Aggregate Retail Data

David Besanko*, Jean Pierre Dubé, Sachin Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


We explore opportunities for targeted pricing for a retailer that only tracks weekly store-level aggregate sales and marketing-mix information. We show that it is possible, using these data, to recover essential features of the underlying distribution of consumer willingness to pay. Knowledge of this distribution may enable the retailer to generate additional profits from targeting by using choice information at the checkout counter. In estimating demand we incorporate a supply-side model of the distribution channel that captures important features of competitive price-setting behavior of firms. This latter aspect helps us control for the potential endogeneity generated by unmeasured product characteristics in aggregate data. The channel controls for competitive aspects both between manufacturers and between manufacturers and a retailer. Despite this competition, we find that targeted pricing need not generate the prisoner's dilemma in our data. This contrasts with the findings of theoretical models due to the flexibility of the empirical model of demand. The demand system we estimate captures richer forms of product differentiation, both vertical and horizontal, as well as a more flexible distribution of consumer heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1138
Number of pages18
JournalManagement Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Channels of Distribution
  • Competition
  • Price Discrimination
  • Scanner Data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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