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On Pricing and Vertical Organization of Differentiated Products: The Case of Soybean Seed Industry

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  • Shi, Guanming
  • Chavas, Jean-Paul

Abstract

This paper investigates the pricing and vertical organization of differentiated products under imperfect competition. In a multiproduct context, a Cournot model is used to examine how substitution/complementarity relationships among products and vertical structures can affect the exercise of market power. This motivates a generalization of the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (termed VHHI) capturing how market concentration and vertical structures interact to influence prices of differentiated products. The analysis is applied to pricing of soybean seeds in the US over the period 2000-2007. The analysis considers two vertical structures employed by biotech firms: vertical integration and licensing. The econometric analysis finds evidence that vertical organization has significant effects on seed prices. These effects are found to vary depending on the institutional setup and the bundling of genetic material. The empirical evidence shows that complementarity and economies of scope can reduce the effects of market concentration on prices.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/49186
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49186.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49186

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Related research

Keywords: Vertical structures; pricing; imperfect competition; seed; biotechnology; Demand and Price Analysis; Industrial Organization; L13; L4; L65;

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  1. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
  2. Hicks, J. R., 1975. "Value and Capital: An Inquiry into some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198282693.
  3. Guanming Shi, 2009. "Bundling and Licensing of Genes in Agricultural Biotechnology," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 264-274.
  4. Kleibergen, F.R. & Paap, R., 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  5. Joshua Gans & Catherine de Fontenay, 2004. "Vertical Integration in the Presence of Upstream Competition," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 7, Econometric Society.
  6. Graff, Gregory D. & Rausser, Gordon C. & Small, Arthur Adams, 2001. "Agricultural biotechnology's complementary intellectual assets," CUDARE Working Paper Series 925, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  7. Joshua S. Gans, 2007. "Concentration-Based Merger Tests and Vertical Market Structure," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 661-681.
  8. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret Slade, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 629-685, September.
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