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Buyer Power and Quality Improvements

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  • Battigalli, Pierpaulo
  • Fumagalli, Chiara
  • Polo, Michele

Abstract

This paper analyses the sources of buyer power and its effect on sellers’ investment in quality improvements. In our model retailers make take-it-or-leave-it offers to a producer and each of them obtains its marginal contribution to total profits (gross of sunk costs). In turn, this depends on the rivalry between retailers in the bargaining process. Rivalry increases when retailers are less differentiated and when decreasing returns to scale in production are larger. The allocation of total surplus affects the incentives of the producer to invest in product quality, an instance of the hold-up problem. An increase in buyer power not only makes the supplier and consumers worse off, but it may even harm retailers, that obtain a larger share of a smaller surplus. A repeated game argument shows that efficient quality improvements can be supported as an equilibrium outcome if the producer and retailers are involved in a long-term relationship.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5814.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5814

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Keywords: buyer power; hold-up; non-cooperative bargaining;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Chiara Fumagalli & Michele Polo, 2006. "Buyer Power and Quality Improvement," Working Papers 310, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Özlem Bedre-Defolie & Stéphane Caprice, 2011. "Merger Efficiency and Welfare Implications of Buyer Power," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1144, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Stephane Caprice & Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2008. "Competition policy in a concentrated and globalized retail industry," Working Papers 23775, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  4. Vanessa von Schlippenbach & Isabel Teichmann, 2012. "The Strategic Use of Private Quality Standards in Food Supply Chains," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1189-1201.
  5. Johansen, Bjørn Olav, 2012. "The Buyer Power Of Multiproduct Retailers: Competition With One-Stop Shopping," Working Papers in Economics 03/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  6. Miklos-Thal, Jeanine & Rey, Patrick & Vergé, Thibaud, 2008. "Buyer Power and Intraband Coordination," IDEI Working Papers 500, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  7. Pio Baake & Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2010. "Quality Distortions in Vertical Relations," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 968, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Eliana Viviano & Luciana Aimone Gigio & Emanuela Ciapanna & Daniele Coin & Fabrizio Colonna & Federica Lagna & Raffaele Santioni, 2012. "The retail trade sector and the food industry in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 119, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. E. Bacchiega & O. Bonroy, 2012. "Vertical relations and number of channels in quality-differentiated markets," Working Papers wp823, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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