Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Date


CFDP Number


CFDP Pages


Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) Code(s)

D44, D47, D83, D84


We consider a nonlinear pricing environment with private information. We provide profit guarantees (and associated mechanisms) that the seller can achieve across all possible distributions of willingness to pay of the buyers. With a constant elasticity cost function, constant markup pricing provides the optimal revenue guarantee across all possible distributions of willingness to pay and the lower bound is attained under a Pareto distribution. We characterize how profits and consumer surplus vary with the distribution of values and show that Pareto distributions are extremal. We also provide a revenue guarantee for general cost functions.We establish equivalent results for optimal procurement policies that support maximal surplus guarantees for the buyer given all possible cost distributions of the sellers.

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