To: Economyst  Can you please help?
posted by too old on .
Airline pricing is a good example of price discrimination. Airlines set different prices for firstclass and excursion. Suppose the economics division of a major airline company estimates the demand and marginal revenue functions for firstclass and excursion fares from Los Angeles to Beijing as:
First Class
Qa = 2100  0.5 Pa
MRa = 4200  4 Qa
Excursion
Qb = 8800  4 Pb
MRb =2200  0.5 Qb
where Q = number of passengers and P = ticket price
a. If the marginal cost of production is $200 per passenger, what fare and what number of passengers will maximize profit?
b. Would the airline make more profit by charging a single price? (If a single price is to be set, the demand equations from each market segment have to be combined)

First, lets rewrite the demand equations, to be P=f(Q).
First class:
Pa = 4200  2Qa
MRa = 4200  4Qa
Excursion:
Pb = 2200  .25*Qb
MRb = 2200  .5*Qb
a) set MC = MR in each equation, then solve for Qa and Qb. I get Qa=1000, Qb=4000. Ergo, Pa=2200, Pb=1200.
b) Undoubtedly, the airline will make more profit by charging two prices instead of one. The two prices I calculated are the profitmaximizing prices in each market; so the firm cant do any better than that.
(Do you need to calculate the profitmaximizing price if the firm was forced to charge a single price??. It's a little tricky operation, but very doable.)