07 Mar '24
Management Seminars | Thursday Soheil Ghili, Yale University - Marketing

Soheil Ghili, from Yale University, will present "An Empirical Analysis of Sequential Screening".

Abstract: This paper analyzes sequential screening, a selling mechanism in which a firm price-discriminates across buyers based on how their uncertainty about their willingnesses to pay (WTP) evolve over time. We design an economical-yet-informative experiment, which was run on the pricing of flight ancillaries in collaboration with an international airline in Asia. Leveraging the experiment results, we estimate a random-effects demand model with heterogeneous uncertainty resolution. We use the model to simulate the optimal pricing policy and find that the airline should optimally commit to a 10% early-purchase discount on seat selection. More broadly, we find that early-purchase discounts (i.e., sequential screening) is optimal when customers with lower ex-ante WTP face larger uncertainty about their ex-post WTP. Further counterfactual analysis examines the impact of marginal costs, the role of capacity constraints in the design of the pricing scheme, and a more general menu of “prices and refunds.” Our framework (i.e., experiment design and demand model) may be used to study optimal pricing and welfare for any other product that has a set consumption date and requires booking, such as flights, accommodation, and events.

Soheil Ghili, Yale University - Marketing
  • From 07 March 2024 2:00 PM
  • To 07 March 2024 3:30 PM
  • Location D-107