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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. Roman Inderst & Tommaso Valletti, 2006. "Price Discrimination in Input Markets," CEIS Research Paper 73, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  2. Valletti, Tommaso, 2002. "Input Price Discrimination with Downstream Cournot Competitors," CEPR Discussion Papers 3570, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
  4. 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.
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  6. Schmalensee, Richard., 1980. "Output and welfare implications of monopolistic third-degree price discrimination," Working papers 1095-80., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  7. 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.
  8. Bonnet, Céline & Dubois, Pierre, 2009. "Inference on Vertical Contracts between Manufacturers and Retailers Allowing for Nonlinear Pricing and Resale Price Maintenance," TSE Working Papers 09-040, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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  12. Bruno Jullien, 1996. "L'impact des options extérieures sur les échanges en information asymétrique," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 47(3), pages 437-446.
  13. 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.
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  16. 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.
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  18. repec:bla:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:2:p:625-652 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, 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. 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.
  22. 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.
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