The economics of predation: What drives pricing when there is learning-by-doing?
AbstractPredatory pricing--a deliberate strategy of pricing aggressively in order to eliminate competitors--is one of the more contentious areas of antitrust policy and its existence and efficacy are widely debated. The purpose of this paper is to formally characterize predatory pricing in a modern industry dynamics framework. We endogenize competitive advantage and industry structure through learning-by-doing. We first show that predation-like behavior arises routinely in our model. Equilibria involving predation-like behavior typically coexist with equilibria involving much less aggressive pricing. To disentangle predatory pricing from mere competition for efficiency on a learning curve we next decompose the equilibrium pricing condition. Our decomposition provides us with a coherent and flexible way to develop alternative characterizations of a firm’s predatory pricing incentives, some of which are motivated by the existing literature while others are novel. We finally measure the impact of the predatory pricing incentives on industry structure, conduct, and performance. We show that forcing a firm to ignore these incentives in setting its price can have a large impact and that this impact stems from eliminating equilibria with predation-like behavior. Along with the predation-like behavior, however, a fair amount of competition for the market is eliminated. Overall, the distinction between predatory pricing and pricing aggressively to pursue efficiency is closely related to the distinction between the advantage-building and advantage-denying motives that our decomposition of the equilibrium pricing condition isolates and measures.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8708.
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2011-12-19 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-GTH-2011-12-19 (Game Theory)
- NEP-MIC-2011-12-19 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aguirregabiria, Victor, 2012.
"A method for implementing counterfactual experiments in models with multiple equilibria,"
Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 190-194.
- Victor Aguirregabiria, 2009. "A Method for Implementing Counterfactual Experiments in Models with Multiple Equilibria," Working Papers tecipa-381, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Victor, Aguirregabiria, 2009. "A Method for Implementing Counterfactual Experiments in Models with Multiple Equilibria," MPRA Paper 17805, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ordover, Janusz A. & Saloner, Garth, 1989. "Predation, monopolization, and antitrust," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 537-596 Elsevier.
- Ronald S. Jarmin, 1994.
"Learning by Doing and Competition in the Early Rayon Industry,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 441-454, Autumn.
- Ron Jarmin, 1993. "Learning By Doing And Competition In The Early Rayon Industry," Working Papers 93-4, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Edlin, Aaron S. & Farrell, Joseph, 2002.
"The American Airlines Case: A Chance to Clarify Predation Policy,"
Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series
qt32h8b40m, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Aaron S. Edlin & Joseph Farrell, 2004. "The American Airlines Case: A Chance to Clarify Predation Policy," Law and Economics 0401003, EconWPA.
- Edlin, Aaron S. & Farrell, Joseph, 2002. "The American Airlines Case: A Chance to Clarify Predation Policy," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0wx7c4zf, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Dudley, Leonard, 1972. "Learning and Productivity Change in Metal Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 662-69, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.