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Estimating Price-Cost Markups Under Nonlinear Pricing Competition

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  • Eugenio J. Miravete

    (University of Pennsylvania and CEPR,)

  • Lars-Hendrik Röller

    (WZB and Humboldt University,)

Abstract

This paper provides a structural interpretation to the estimates of the shape and position of nonlinear tariffs. We focus on the evaluation of price-cost margins, and thus we need to identify marginal cost from an equilibrium model of nonlinear pricing competition. We estimate these price-cost margins using quarterly data from the early U.S. cellular telephone industry between 1984 and 1988. Our results indicate that the margins are increased under duopoly, due to a significant reduction in marginal costs. Moreover, we find that the price-cost margins vary over the consumption levels and that low end users are subject to higher price-cost margins than high-end users. The impact of competition further increases the margins in the low-end user segment, relative to high-end users. In that sense the benefits of competition, which are largely due to increased efficiencies, are passed on relatively more to high-end users. We also show that these findings are robust even if one includes a number of observable market demand and cost variables. (JEL: D43, D82, L96) Copyright (c) 2004 The European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
Pages: 526-535

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:2:y:2004:i:2-3:p:526-535

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Cited by:
  1. Srinuan, Chalita & Srinuan, Pratompong & Bohlin, Erik, 2012. "Exploring mobile pricing strategies and innovations in the Thai mobile communications market," 19th ITS Biennial Conference, Bangkok 2012: Moving Forward with Future Technologies - Opening a Platform for All 72522, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  2. Nicoletta Corrocher & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2007. "Demand and Innovation in Services: the Case of Mobile Communications," KITeS Working Papers 199, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Mar 2007.
  3. Joan Calzada & Fernando Martínez, 2013. "“Broadband prices in the European Union: competition and commercial strategies”," IREA Working Papers 201309, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2013.
  4. Grajek, Michal & Kretschmer, Tobias, 2009. "Usage and diffusion of cellular telephony, 1998-2004," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 238-249, March.
  5. Corchón, Luis C. & Moreno, L., 2010. "Interpreting markups in Spanish manufacturing: The exponential model," MPRA Paper 26609, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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