Sales and Collusion in a Market with Storage
AbstractSales are a widespread and well-known phenomenon that has been documented in several product markets. Regularities in such periodic price reductions appear to suggest that the phenomenon cannot be entirely attributed to random variations in supply, demand, or the aggregate price level. Certain sales are traditional and so well publicized that it is difficult to justify them as devices to separate informed from uninformed consumers. This paper presents a model in which sellers want to reduce prices periodically in order to improve their ability to collude over time. In particular, the study shows that if buyers have heterogeneous storage technologies, periodic sales may facilitate collusion by magnifying intertemporal linking in consumers' decisions. The stability and the profitability of different sale strategies is then explored. The optimal sales discount and timing of sales are characterized. A trade-off between cartel size and aggregate profits arises.
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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Storage; sales; collusion; cartel size; repeated games;
Other versions of this item:
- L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
- L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-08-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2011-08-22 (Business Economics)
- NEP-COM-2011-08-22 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-MKT-2011-08-22 (Marketing)
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