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Are loyalty-rewarding pricing schemes anti-competitive?

Ramon Caminal () and Adina Claici

No 228, Working Papers from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics

Abstract: Many economists and policy analysts seem to believe that loyaltyrewarding pricing schemes, like frequent flyer programs, tend to reinforce firm's market power and hence are detrimental to consumer welfare. The existing academic literature has supported this view to some extent. In contrast, we argue that these programs are business stealing devices that enhance competition, in the sense of generating lower average transaction prices and higher consumer surplus. This result is robust to alternative specifications of the firms' commitment power and demand structures, and is derived in a theoretical model whose main predictions are compatible with the sparse empirical evidence.

Keywords: repeat purchases; switching costs; price commitment; coupons (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D43 L13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-11
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Related works:
Journal Article: Are loyalty-rewarding pricing schemes anti-competitive? (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Are loyalty-rewarding pricing schemes anti-competitive? (2005) Downloads
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