This paper studies price setting in an equilibrium search model of frictional product markets with long-term customer relationships. The theory gives rise to temporary sales when pricing is constrained to be anonymous across a firm’s customer base. Equilibrium prices are inefficiently high, giving rise to overselling and excess trade, and the emergence of sale pricing can improve allocations by limiting this overselling. Pricing is also characterized by an asymmetry involving a stable regular price and variable sale price when firms face idiosyncratic shocks. Absent anonymous pricing, the theory gives rise to teaser pricing, which attains efficient allocations. Teaser pricing is also characterized by a stable regular price and variable teaser price, but in this case the seeming rigidity is not allocative.View the Full Working Paper
Price Setting with Customer Capital: Sales, Teasers, and Rigidity
WP 22-31 – A theory where buyers search for products that fit their needs gives rise to temporary sales in pricing when firms set a common price across their customers, and teaser pricing when firms can differentiate between new and repeat customers.