# Is there a name for this type of problem?

I am having trouble formulating the concept I am thinking about. It has to do with looking at observed behavior of the sales of a particular product during each hour of the day, and trying to adjust prices accordingly.

If you have a time series of 24 pairs of values, $(x_1,y_1), (x_2,y_2), \ldots, (x_{24},y_{24})$, where $(x_t,y_t)$ represents the data at time $t$ o'clock: $x_t$ is the number of sales and $y_t$ is the average price paid (both at time $t$).

Given this information, is there anything that can be deduced about how the product should be priced? What about by the hour?

My background is not in economics, so I don't know if there is a framework for this type of problem.

• What do you mean "about how a product should be priced?" What kind of good are we talking about? Do you have any more context? Is your data from one specific firm or are you looking at market averages? Mar 22 '15 at 2:56
• To follow up on @jmbejara's quesiton, it would be useful to know why you have different prices for different hours. Figuring out the best price often depends upon figuring out the shape of the demand curve, so we need to know whether the demand curve moves around during the day or whether you observations are just various points on a static demand curve. Mar 22 '15 at 8:39
• I'm thinking more on a general level, but maybe this example can help: Suppose the product is a specific airline flight from NY to London, and instead of tracking hours, we track averages over months. So we know that in February x purchases are made at y price, for example. Same for all other months, with 10 years of history. How then should the airline price its future flights based on this demand history? Mar 22 '15 at 12:48
• So we're facing different demand curves: Depending on time left to the flight, people's elasticities change, and airlines use this. Mar 22 '15 at 13:58
• @FooBar, so every month has its own demand curve? How does this help to set prices? How do the airlines adjust their prices? Is this known? Mar 22 '15 at 14:49