Non-Linear Pricing and Optimal Shipping Policies

Posted: 8 Jan 2019

Date Written: August 31, 2018


A monopolist produces a good for sale to a buyer with uncertain valuation. The seller seeks to implement a profit-maximizing non-linear pricing scheme, which includes the time at which the good is shipped to the consumer. If the buyer discounts future payoffs and the seller does not, then delayed shipments act as an almost-perfect substitute for complete information and the monopolist can extract almost all of the surplus from trade. Shipping policies thus serve as a powerful tool of enhancing price discrimination. However, if the seller is as patient as, or even only slightly more patient than, the buyer, then she cannot benefit from delaying allocations.

Keywords: monopoly, non-linear pricing, intertemporal price discrimination, mechanism design, surplus extraction

JEL Classification: D42, D82, L12

Suggested Citation

Tóbiás, Áron, Non-Linear Pricing and Optimal Shipping Policies (August 31, 2018). Games and Economic Behavior, Volume 112, November 2018, Pages 194–218, DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2018.08.008, Available at SSRN:

Áron Tóbiás (Contact Author)

Syracuse University ( email )

110 Eggers Hall
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States


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