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Capacity Choice Counters the Coase Conjecture

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  • Preston McAfee

Abstract

The Coase conjecture (1972) is the proposition that a durable-goods monopolist, who sells over time and can quickly reduce prices as sales are made, will price at marginal cost. We show that an arbitrarily small deviation from Coase's assumptions—a deviation that applies in almost any practical application—results in the failure of that conjecture. In particular, we examine that conjecture in a model where there is a vanishingly small cost for production (or sales) capacity, and the seller may augment capacity in every period. In the "gap case", any positive capacity cost ensures that in the limit, as the size of the gap and the time between sales periods shrink, the monopolist obtains profits identical to those that would prevail when she could commit ex ante to a fixed capacity. Those profits are at least 29.8% of the full static monopoly optimum. Copyright 2008, Wiley-Blackwell.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Theory workshop papers with number 505798000000000046.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclatw:505798000000000046

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  1. Gul, Faruk & Sonnenschein, Hugo & Wilson, Robert, 1986. "Foundations of dynamic monopoly and the coase conjecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 155-190, June.
  2. Larry M. Ausubel & Raymond J. Deneckere, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Levine's Working Paper Archive 201, David K. Levine.
  3. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-85, September.
  4. R. Preston McAfee & Daniel Vincent, 1994. "Sequentially Optimal Auctions," Discussion Papers 1104, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1993. "Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles," Discussion Papers 1049, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  7. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & David Levine, 1992. "When are Agents Negligible?," Discussion Papers 1018, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Kahn, Charles M, 1986. "The Durable Goods Monopolist and Consistency with Increasing Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 275-94, March.
  9. Bagnoli, Mark & Salant, Stephen W & Swierzbinski, Joseph E, 1989. "Durable-Goods Monopoly with Discrete Demand," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1459-78, December.
  10. Wilson, Robert, 1997. "Nonlinear Pricing," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195115826, September.
  11. Ausubel, Lawrence M & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 511-31, May.
  12. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-32, April.
  13. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Infinite-Horizon Models of Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1098, David K. Levine.
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Cited by:
  1. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David G. & Stacchetti, Ennio, 0. "One-sided uncertainty and delay in reputational bargaining," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
  2. Roman Inderst, 2008. "Dynamic Bilateral Bargaining under Private Information with a Sequence of Potential Buyers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 220-236, January.
  3. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2008. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1684R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Sep 2010.
  4. Xu, Frances Zhiyun, 2011. "Optimal best-price policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 628-643, September.
  5. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2010. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000279, David K. Levine.
  6. Lionel Wilner, 2011. "Intertemporal Price Discrimination in Infinite Horizon," Working Papers 2011-31, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  7. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000059, David K. Levine.
  8. Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2011. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000025, David K. Levine.
  9. Mak, Vincent & Rapoport, Amnon & Gisches, Eyran J., 2012. "Competitive dynamic pricing with alternating offers: Theory and experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 250-264.

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