Dynamic Pricing of Perishable Assets under Competition
University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management
August 9, 2013
Management Science, Forthcoming
We study dynamic price competition in an oligopolistic market with a mix of substitutable and complementary perishable assets. Each firm has a fixed initial stock of items and competes in setting prices to sell them over a finite sales horizon. Customers sequentially arrive at the market, make a purchase choice and then leave immediately with some likelihood of no-purchase. The purchase likelihood depends on the time of purchase, the product attributes and the current prices. The demand structure includes time-variant linear and MultiNomial Logit demand models as special cases. Assuming deterministic customer arrival rates, we show that any equilibrium strategy has a simple structure, involving a finite set of shadow prices measuring capacity externalities that firms exert on each other: equilibrium prices can be resolved from a one-shot price competition game under the current-time demand structure, taking into account capacity externalities through the time-invariant shadow prices. The former reflects the transient demand side at every moment and the latter captures the aggregate supply constraint over the sales horizon. This simple structure sheds light on dynamic revenue management problems under competition, which helps capture the essence of the problems under demand uncertainty. We show that the equilibrium solutions from the deterministic game provide pre-committed and contingent heuristic policies that are asymptotic equilibria for its stochastic counterpart, when demand and supply are sufficiently large.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: oligopoly pricing, dynamic pricing, perishable asset, finite horizon, Nash equilibrium, supermodular game, revenue management
Date posted: December 2, 2008 ; Last revised: August 10, 2013