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Do buyer-size discounts depend on the curvature of the surplus function? Experimental tests of bargaining models

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  • Hans-Theo Normann
  • Bradley J. Ruffle
  • Christopher M. Snyder

Abstract

A number of recent theoretical papers have shown that for buyer-size discounts to emerge in a bargaining model, the total surplus function over which parties bargain must have certain nonlinearities. We test the theory in an experimental setting in which a seller bargains with a number of buyers of different sizes. We generate nonlinearities in the surplus function by varying the shape of the seller's cost function. Our results strongly support the theory. As predicted, large-buyer discounts emerge only in the case of increasing marginal cost, corresponding to a concave surplus function.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 747-767

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Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:38:y:2007:i:3:p:747-767

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  1. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
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  6. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  7. Inderst, Roman & Wey, Christian, 2001. "Bargaining, Mergers and Technology Choice in Bilaterally Oligopolistic Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2002. "Buyer Countervailing Power versus Monopoly Power: Evidence from Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Economics Papers 2002-W14, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. Sara Fisher Ellison & Christopher M. Snyder, 2010. "COUNTERVAILING POWER IN WHOLESALE PHARMACEUTICALS -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 32-53, 03.
  10. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2000. "Some factors affecting demand withholding in posted-offer markets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 529-544.
  11. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
  12. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  13. Scheffman, David T & Spiller, Pablo T, 1992. "Buyer's Strategies, Entry Barriers, and Competition," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 418-36, July.
  14. Suchan Chae & Paul Heidhues, 1999. "The Effects of Downstream Distributor Chains on Upstream Producer Entry: A Bargaining Perspective," CIG Working Papers FS IV 99-35, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  15. Katz, Michael L, 1987. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 154-67, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2009. "When Do Large Buyers Pay Less? Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0910, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  2. Jeroen Hinloopen & Wieland Müller & Hans-Theo Normann, 2011. "Output Commitment through Product Bundling: Experimental Evidence," Vienna Economics Papers 1112, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  3. Mikhael Shor, 2008. "An experiment on strategic capacity reduction," Working papers 2012-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  4. Lisa Bruttel, 2013. "Is there an exclusionary effect of retroactive price reduction schemes?," TWI Research Paper Series 84, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  5. Linda Goldberg & Cedric Tille, 2013. "A bargaining theory of trade invoicing and pricing," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 144, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  6. Davis, Douglas D. & Wilson, Bart J., 2008. "Strategic buyers, horizontal mergers and synergies: An experimental investigation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 643-661, May.
  7. Normann, Hans-Theo, 2010. "Experimentelle Ökonomik für die Wettbewerbspolitik," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 06, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  8. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2012. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," DICE Discussion Papers 74, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  9. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2006. "Buyer Concentration As A Source Of Countervailing Power: Evidence From Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2006-12, McGill University, Department of Economics.

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