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What are the different types of price discrimination?

Relevant Topics

This question pertains to topics in Microeconomics, such as Price Discrimination, Monopoly


Price Discrimination: Price discrimination refers to the practice of selling the same product or service at different prices to different consumers, not based on differences in cost.

There are three main types of price discrimination:

First Degree Price Discrimination:
Also known as perfect price discrimination, it involves charging each consumer the maximum that they are willing to pay. This method extracts all consumer surplus.

Second Degree Price Discrimination:
This involves charging different prices for different quantities consumed, such as bulk discounts or different tariffs for utilities. The price is not directly set per individual consumer, but indirectly through quantity.

Third Degree Price Discrimination:
This involves segmenting the market into different groups based on variables such as age, income, or geography, and charging different prices to these different groups. Examples include student discounts or higher prices in wealthier areas.

Detailed Explanation:

The ability to price discriminate can increase a firm's revenue and profitability. It requires some degree of market power and the ability to segment the market and prevent resale between different groups of consumers.


Airlines: Airlines often employ first degree price discrimination, changing prices based on demand, time of booking, and individual's willingness to pay.

Electricity Companies:
They typically use second degree price discrimination, offering cheaper rates for higher quantities consumed.

: Cinemas use third degree price discrimination by offering different prices for students, adults, and seniors.


In conclusion, there are three types of price discrimination: first, second, and third degree. Each involves charging different prices to different consumers or for different quantities, with the aim of increasing a firm's revenue. Real-world examples include airlines, electricity companies, and cinemas.

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