Valentina Moro, Margherita Simula

Computer Science and Simulation for Economics

Project work on

"Price discrimination."


The applet requires Java 1.4.1 or higher. It will not run on Windows 95 or Mac OS 8 or 9. Mac users must have OS X 10.2.6 or higher and use a browser that supports Java 1.4. (Safari works, IE does not. Mac OS X comes with Safari. Open Safari and set it as your default web browser under Safari/Preferences/General.) On other operating systems, you may obtain the latest Java plugin from Sun's Java site.

created with NetLogo

view/download model file: price_discrimination.nlogo


The model tries to explain a model of “price discriminination“ with a simple simulation model. The world is divided into eight cinemas and a black area without cinemas; consumers move into the world to buy a ticket. The purpose of this model is to understand that the cinema wich apply the price discriminination sell more tickets.


Consumers move across the world into the eight cinemas according to their happiness. Consumers' happiness is determined according to their possibility to buy a ticket : if a consumer can buy a ticket, she will be happy, if she can not buy anything she will be unhappy. They will move a lot if they are unhappy, and died if they are happy because they buy the ticket and they go into the cinema (the consumers disappear when buy a ticket).If the consumer doesn't try her ticket beacuse her availability to pay is less than the ticket's price, she stay. The model stops when all consumers have bought the ticket or after 1200 cycles (1200 is a number that let consumers try their tickets).


The observer chooses the number of consumers by using the sliders in the interface. In the same way, the observer is asked to set consumers' availability to pay.
The observer to set the world of simulation has to click on the button "setup"; the world is genarated, patches take the eight colours of cinemas and the black colour for no-consumption area, finally the consumers stand in random way in the world.
The simulation starts when the observer clicks the button "go".
On the interface observer can see quantities sold by each cinema, the number of cycles, and the yield of any consumers breed, also in the interface there are three graphs that explain sold quantities by each cinema, the consumers total yield and the bought quantities for breed.


When the level of consumers' availability is maximum we can see that every consumer buys one ticket because consumers' availabiity is higher than every cinemas price.
At the opposite, when the level of consumer's availability is low we can see that nobody buys ticket because consumers' availability is lower than every cinemas price.


It could be interesting to try varying the level of the sliders on the interface and notice what happens.


The model can be extended by introducing one other breed of consumers (for example children), other cinemas that practise the price discrimination, and other variables that can affect consumers behaviours.


The simulation has been inspired by the "price discrimination of third degree".


The model has been created after attending the course “Informatica e simulazione per l’economia”, held by Professor Pietro Terna, at the Faculty of Economics, University of Turin.