Price Discrimination Thermometer

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Originally posted on December 10, 2009.


When customers call Cingular threatening to switch to another firm or asking for discounts, operators see a handy thermometer that tells them the life time value (LTV) of the customer to the company. The higher the meter reading the more discounts the operator is allowed to offer the customer. The Consumerist has the details including excerpts from company documents explaining the system.



About the Author
Alex Tabarrok is Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and director of research for The Independent Institute. Tabarrok is co-author with Tyler Cowen of the popular economics blog, Marginal Revolution. His recent research looks at bounty hunters, judicial incentives and elections, crime control, patent reform, methods to increase the supply of human organs for transplant, and the regulation of pharmaceuticals. He is the editor of the books, Entrepreneurial Economics: Bright Ideas from the Dismal Science; The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society; and Changing the Guard: Private Prisons and The Control of Crime. His papers have appeared in the Journal of Law and Economics, Public Choice, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Theoretical Politics, The American Law and Economics Review, Kyklos and many other journals. His popular articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other magazines and newspapers.