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Empirical Evidence on the Role of Non Linear Wholesale Pricing and Vertical Restraints on Cost Pass-Through

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  • Bonnet, Céline
  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Villas-Boas, Sofia Berto

Abstract

How a cost shock is passed through into final consumer prices may relate to nominal price stickiness and rigidities, the existence of non adjustable cost components, strategic mark-up adjustments, or other contract terms along the supply distribution chain. This paper presents a simple framework to assess the potential role of non linear pricing contracts and vertical restraints such as resale price maintenance or wholesale price discrimination in the supply chain in explaining the degree of pass-through from upstream cost shocks in the ground coffee category to downstream retail prices. We do so in the German coffee market where both upstream and downstream firms make pricing decisions allowing for non linear pricing and vertical restraints. Using counterfactual simulations of an upstream coffee cost shock, we find that the existence of resale price maintenance between manufacturers and retailers increases pass through rate by more than 10 points relative to the case when this assumption is not allowed with non linear pricing or when double marginalization along the distribution chain is present. The intuition for our findings is that resale price maintenance restrictions make it less possible for retailers to perform strategic mark-up adjustments when faced with a cost shock. We also find that the less concentrated upstream sector, and also when faced with less elastic demands, the larger the role of vertical restraints in preventing retailers to perform strategic mark-up adjustments, and thus the higher the pass-through increases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8004.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8004

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Keywords: Non Linear Pricing; Pass-Through; Resale Price Maintenance; Wholesale Price Discrimination.;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2013. "Tax incidence with strategic firms in the soft drink market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 77-88.
  2. Olivier Allais & Fabrice Etile & Sebastien Lecocq, 2013. "Mandatory Labels, taxes and market forces : An empirical evaluation of fat policies," Working Papers 221517, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  3. Haucap, Justus & Heimeshoff, Ulrich & Klein, Gordon J. & Rickert, Dennis & Wey, Christian, 2013. "Bargaining power in manufacturer-retailer relationships," DICE Discussion Papers 107, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  4. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2013. "Sugar Policy Reform, Tax Policy and Price Transmission in the Soft Drink Industry," TSE Working Papers 13-373, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  5. Olivier Allais; & Fabrice Etile; & Sebastien Lecocq, 2012. "Mandatory labelling, nutritional taxes and market forces: An empirical evaluation of fat policies in the French fromage blanc and yogurt market," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/14, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Smith, Howard & Thomassen, Øyvind, 2012. "Multi-category demand and supermarket pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 309-314.
  7. Hellerstein, Rebecca & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2010. "Outsourcing and pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 170-183, July.
  8. Haucap, Justus & Heimeshoff, Ulrich & Klein, Gordon J. & Rickert, Dennis & Wey, Christian, 2013. "Inter-format competition among retailers: The role of private label products in market delineation," DICE Discussion Papers 101, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  9. Adachi, Takanori & Ebina, Takeshi, 2014. "Double marginalization and cost pass-through: Weyl–Fabinger and Cowan meet Spengler and Bresnahan–Reiss," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 170-175.
  10. Hovhannisyan, Vardges & Stiegert, Kyle W., 2011. "Vertical Channel Analysis of the U.S. Milk Market," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103631, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00736556 is not listed on IDEAS

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