Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study


Price Discrimination in the Transport Industry and the Gains from Trade


Shipping companies often charges nonlinear and discriminatory pricing for transportation. This paper shows that this nonlinear and discriminatory pricing in the shipping industry could hamper the welfare gains from trade due to within-industry allocation across heterogeneous firms. I extend a standard heterogeneous firm trade model with variable markups by incorporating monopolistically competitive shipping companies that charge nonlinear and discriminatory pricing against manufacturers. In a standard setting, shipping companies optimally charge a higher transport price to the more productive firms, weakening within-industry reallocation toward productive firms. Elimination of this discriminatory practice could
potentially increase the gains from trade.


Report No.: HIAS-E-123
Author(s): Han Zheng (a)
Affiliation: (a) Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University
Issued Date: October 2022
Keywords: Price discrimination, Shipping industry, Heterogeneous firms, The gains from trade
JEL: F12, L91, R13, R41