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Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Quantity Discounts and Private Information

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  • Fabian Herweg
  • Daniel Müller

Abstract

We consider a monopolistic supplier’s optimal choice of wholesale tariffs when downstream firms are privately informed about their retail costs. Under discriminatory pricing, downstream firms that differ in their ex ante distribution of retail costs are offered different tariffs. Under uniform pricing, the same wholesale tariff is offered to all downstream firms. In contrast to the extant literature on price discrimination with nonlinear wholesale tariffs, we find that banning discriminatory wholesale contracts often improves welfare. This also holds if the manufacturer is not an unconstrained monopolist. Moreover, uniform pricing increases downstream investments in cost reduction in the long run.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4202.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4202

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Keywords: asymmetric information; input markets; quantity discounts; price discrimination; screening; vertical contracting;

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  1. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Strategic Motives for Vertical Separation: Evidence from Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 84-113, April.
  2. Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2006. "Vertical relationships between manufacturers and retailers: inference with limited data," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0z26d2v9, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  3. Céline Bonnet & Pierre Dubois, 2010. "Inference on vertical contracts between manufacturers and retailers allowing for nonlinear pricing and resale price maintenance," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 139-164.
  4. Ryan Luchs & Tansev Geylani & Anthony Dukes & Kannan Srinivasan, 2010. "The End of the Robinson-Patman Act? Evidence from Legal Case Data," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(12), pages 2123-2133, December.
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  6. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
  7. Bruno Jullien, 1996. "L'impact des options extérieures sur les échanges en information asymétrique," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 437-446.
  8. Valletti, Tommaso M., 2003. "Input price discrimination with downstream Cournot competitors," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 969-988, September.
  9. Roman Inderst & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Price discrimination in input markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 1-19.
  10. Stéphane Caprice, 2006. "Multilateral Vertical Contracting with an Alternative Supply: The Welfare Effects of a Ban on Price Discrimination," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, 02.
  11. Cowan, Simon & Vickers, John & Aguirre Pérez, Iñaki, 2009. "Monopoly Price Discrimination and Demand Curvature," IKERLANAK 2009-39, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  12. Schmalensee, Richard, 1981. "Output and Welfare Implications of Monopolistic Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 242-47, March.
  13. Malueg, David A, 1993. "Bounding the Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1011-21, September.
  14. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
  15. Ferrari, Stijn & Verboven, Frank, 2010. "Vertical Control of a Distribution Network - An Empirical Analysis of Magazines," CEPR Discussion Papers 7832, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Anil Arya & Brian Mittendorf, 2010. "Input Price Discrimination When Buyers Operate In Multiple Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 846-867, December.
  17. Varian, Hal R, 1985. "Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 870-75, September.
  18. Schwartz, Marius, 1990. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination and Output: Generalizing a Welfare Result," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1259-62, December.
  19. DeGraba, Patrick, 1990. "Input Market Price Discrimination and the Choice of Technology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1246-53, December.
  20. Liliane Karlinger & Massimo Motta, 2012. "Exclusionary Pricing When Scale Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 75-103, 03.
  21. repec:bla:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:2:p:625-652 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Fabian Herweg & Daniel Müller, 2012. "Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Downstream Entry and Efficiency," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 773-799, 09.
  23. Katz, Michael L, 1987. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 154-67, March.
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