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Vertical Contracts as Strategic Commitments: How Are They Enforced?

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  • Alexander, Cindy R
  • Reiffen, David
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    Abstract

    This paper addresses the strategic commitment value of various price and nonprice vertical contracts. Assuming contract offers are sufficiently public to have strategic importance, we focus on commitment as a necessary and separable condition to be met. The analysis has two components. First, considering the relationship between a monopolist manufacturer and his imperfectly competing retailers, enforcement conditions necessary for alternative vertical contracts to have commitment value are identified in the static (reputation-free) context. It is shown that external help (i.e., enforcement by nonsignatories) is necessary for bilateral minimum resale price maintenance (price floors) and exclusive territory contracts to have commitment value, whereas maximum resale price maintenance (price ceilings) do not require such help (i.e., they are internally enforcing). Second, the paper provides an analysis of the U.S. case law and discusses the empirical validity of the "external enforcement" assumption that is shown to underlie recent proposals to make certain vertical restraints illegal. Copyright 1995 by MIT Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

    Volume (Year): 4 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
    Pages: 623-49

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:4:y:1995:i:4:p:623-49

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    Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/

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    Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1058-6407&site=1

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    Cited by:
    1. Michael L. Katz, 2006. "Observable Contracts as Commitments: Interdependent Contracts and Moral Hazard," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 685-706, 09.
    2. Baake, Pio & Kamecke, Ulrich & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2004. "Vertical foreclosure versus downstream competition with capital precommitment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 185-192, February.
    3. Daisuke Nikae & Takeshi Ikeda, 2005. "The economic theory of quasi-exclusive territory," Industrial Organization 0508002, EconWPA.
    4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2006:i:26:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Corts, Kenneth S. & Neher, Darwin V., 2003. "Credible delegation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 395-407, June.
    6. Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2004. "Opportunism and menus of two-part tariffs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1399-1414, December.
    7. Takeshi Ikeda & Daisuke Nikae, 2006. "Exclusive territories in the presence of upstream competition," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(26), pages 1-6.
    8. Baake, P. & Kamecke, U. & Normann, H.T., 2001. "Vertical Integration and Market Foreclosure with Convex Downstream Costs," Papers 178, Flinders of South Australia - Discipline of Economics.
    9. James D. Dana & Kathryn Spier, 2000. "Revenue Sharing, Demand Uncertainty, and Vertical Control of Competing Firms," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1511, Econometric Society.

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