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An Equilibrium Theory of Rationing

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  • Richard J. Gilbert
  • Paul Klemperer

Abstract

Committing to prices that result in rationing may be more profitable than setting market-clearing prices if customers must make sunk investments to enter the market. Rationing is ex post inefficient, but it gives more surplus to lower-value customers who are the marginal consumers the monopolists want to tempt to make investments. Similarly, a monopsonist may procure some requirements from high-cost "second sources" rather than purchase only from the lowest-cost suppliers. The model contributes to the theory of auctions with endogenous entry, and it may also help explain "efficiency wages," "second prizes," and "fair" behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 31 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:31:y:2000:i:spring:p:1-21

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References

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  1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1977. "Is the Price System or Rationing More Effective in Getting a Commodity to Those Who Need It Most?," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 517-524, Autumn.
  2. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  3. Margaret E. Slade, 1991. "Strategic Pricing with Customer Rationing: The Case of Primary Metals," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 70-100, February.
  4. Png, I P L, 1991. "Most-Favored-Customer Protection versus Price Discrimination over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1010-28, October.
  5. Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1990. "Inflexible Prices and Procyclical Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 851-74, November.
  6. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  7. Stole, Lars A., 1994. "Information expropriation and moral hazard in optimal second-source auctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 463-484, July.
  8. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michael J. Dueker, 2000. "Are prime rate changes asymmetric?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 33-40.
  2. James Peck, 1995. "Competition in Transactions Mechanisms: The Emergence of Price Competition," Working Papers 022, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Binmore, Kenneth & Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: The Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pascal Courty, 2009. "Unpriced Quality," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/16, European University Institute.
  5. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "Why Every Economist Should Learn Some Auction Theory," Microeconomics 0004009, EconWPA.
  6. Greve,T. & Pollitt, M. G., 2012. "Designing electiricty transmission auctions: an introduction to the relevant literature," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1245, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Hyytinen, Ari & Väänänen, Lotta, 2004. "Could Mr. and Mrs. Capital Market Imperfection Please Step Forward? An Empirical Analysis of Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard in Capital Markets," Discussion Papers 887, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  8. Henk Folmer & Auke Leen, 2013. "Why do successful restaurants not raise their prices?," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 81-90, July.

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