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The Welfare Losses from Price-Matching Policies

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  • Edlin, Aaron S.
  • Emch, Eric R.
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    Abstract

    Several recent papers argue that price-matching policies raise equilibrium prices. We add to this literature by considering potential welfare losses, which have two sources: Harberger triangles from high prices and Posner rectangles from over-entry. We compare price-matching markets with entry to monopoly and price-matching markets without entry, and find that price matching with entry creates greater welfare losses than monopoly in markets with a low ratio of fixed to marginal cost. We illustrate this result using parameters from the US wholesale gasoline and air travel markets and relate our model to price matching among NASDAQ market makers.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics in its series Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt43b7w47c.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jun 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt43b7w47c

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    Cited by:
    1. Enrique Fatas & Juan Mañez, 2007. "Are low-price promises collusion guarantees? An experimental test of price matching policies," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 59-77, March.
    2. Louis Kaplow & Carl Shapiro, 2007. "Antitrust," NBER Working Papers 12867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Raskovich, Alexander, 2007. "Retail buyer power through steering," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 221-225, August.
    4. Datta, Shakun & Offenberg, Jennifer, 2003. "An Experimental Examination of Competitor-Based Price Matching Guarantees," MPRA Paper 575, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Oct 2006.
    5. Arbatskaya, Maria & Hviid, Morten & Shaffer, Greg, 2006. "On the use of low-price guarantees to discourage price cutting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1139-1156, November.
    6. Arbatskaya, Maria, 2001. "Can low-price guarantees deter entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1387-1406, November.
    7. F. Javier Casado-Izaga, 2000. "Welfare effects of price-matching policies in a differentiated product market," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 24(2), pages 487-498, May.
    8. Schwalbe, Ulrich & Baake, Pio, 2013. "Price Guarantees, Consumer Search, and Hassle Costs," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80023, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Pio Baake & Ulrich Schwalbe, 2013. "Price Guarantees, Consumer Search, and Hassle Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1335, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Morten Hviid & Greg Shaffer, 2012. "Optimal low-price guarantees with anchoring," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 393-417, December.
    11. Subhasish Dugar & Todd Sorensen, 2006. "Hassle Costs, Price-Matching Guarantees and Price Competition: An Experiment," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 359-378, June.

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