Competition in Price and Availability when Availability is Unobservable
AbstractThis paper presents a strategic model of competition in both price and availability when firms can publicly commit to prices but not inventories (or capacities). Demand is uncertain and firms stock out in equilibrium. Consumers choose where to shop on the basis of price and expected service rate (the probability of being served). In a one period model, I show that although firms cannot affect consumers' expectations of their service rates by increasing inventory, they can signal higher service rates with higher prices (regardless of whether price or inventory is chosen first). This extra incentive to raise price generates a floor on equilibrium prices and industry profits that exists regardless of the number of firms. When price is set before output, high prices create incentives for firm to hold more inventory. So rational consumers anticipate high priced firms will have higher service rates. Applications of this model to video rental competition and other retail competition are discussed. When output is set before price, high prices act as a signal of high availability. This equilibrium is the unique equilibrium satisfying the never-a-weak-best-response property. Rational consumers anticipate high priced firms will have higher service rates and that firms that deviate to low prices must have changed their availability as well. In a repeated game firms that maintain reputations for higher service rates may earn even higher profits.
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 Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1450.
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Dana, James D, Jr, 2001. "Competition in Price and Availability When Availability is Unobservable," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 497-513, Autumn.
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.:
- Benjamin L. Schwartz, 1966. "A New Approach to Stockout Penalties," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(12), pages B538-B544, August.
- Peters, Michael, 1984. "Bertrand Equilibrium with Capacity Constraints and Restricted Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1117-27, September.
- Wolinsky, Asher, 1983. "Prices as Signals of Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 647-58, October.
- Deneckere, Raymond & Marvel, Howard P & Peck, James, 1996.
"Demand Uncertainty, Inventories, and Resale Price Maintenance,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 885-913, August.
- Howard P. Marvel & Raymond Deneckere & James Peck, 1995. "Demand Uncertainty, Inventories, and Resale Price Maintainance," Working Papers 019, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
- Damme, E.E.C. van & Hurkens, J.P.M., 1997.
"Games with imperfectly observable commitment,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74216, Tilburg University.
- Prescott, Edward C, 1975. "Efficiency of the Natural Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1229-36, December.
- Smallwood, Dennis E & Conlisk, John, 1979. "Product Quality in Markets Where Consumers are Imperfectly Informed," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 1-23, February.
- Gould, John P, 1978. "Inventories and Stochastic Demand: Equilibrium Models of the Firm and Industry," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 1-42, January.
- Carlton, Dennis W, 1979. "Contracts, Price Rigidity, and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 1034-62, October.
- Rogerson, William P, 1987. "The Dissipation of Profits by Brand Name Investment and Entry when Price Guarantees Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 797-809, August.
- Eden, Benjamin, 1990. "Marginal Cost Pricing When Spot Markets Are Complete," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1293-1306, December.
- Noah Gans, 1999. "Customer Loyalty and Supplier Strategies for Quality Competition," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-12, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Noah Gans, 1999. "Customer Learning and Loyalty When Quality is Uncertain," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-11, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Horstmann, Ignatius J & MacDonald, Glenn M, 1994. "When Is Advertising a Signal of Product Quality?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 561-84, Fall.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986.
"Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1992. "Search Equilibrium with Endogenous Recall," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 184-202, Summer.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1991. "Endogenous Availability in Search Equilibrium," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 287-306, Summer.
- Allen, Franklin & Faulhaber, Gerald R, 1988. "Optimism Invites Deception," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 397-407, May.
- B. L. Schwartz, 1970. "Optimal Inventory Policies in Perturbed Demand Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(8), pages B509-B518, April.
- Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
- Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2010.
"Demand Estimation Under Incomplete Product Availability,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
799, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 07 Aug 2012.
- Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2008. "Demand Estimation Under Incomplete Product Availability," NBER Working Papers 14315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arie Beresteanu, 2004. "Demand Shifts and Second Degree Price discimination - the Impact of DVDs on the Motion Pictures Industry," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 609, Econometric Society.
- Michael A. Arnold & Christine Saliba, 2003. "Price Dispersion in Online Markets: The Case of College Textbooks," Working Papers 03-02, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
- James Jozefowicz & Jason Kelley & Stephanie Brewer, 2008. "New Release: An Empirical Analysis of VHS/DVD Rental Success," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 36(2), pages 139-151, June.
- Rosato, Antonio, 2013. "Selling Substitute Goods to Loss-Averse Consumers: Limited Availability, Bargains and Rip-offs," MPRA Paper 47168, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Zhenlin Yang & Lydia Gan & Fang-Fang Tang, 2007.
"A Study of Pricing Evolution in the Online Toy Market,"
Economic Growth centre Working Paper Series
0704, Nanyang Technolgical University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Economic Growth centre.
- Yang, Zhenlin & Gan, Lydia & Tang, Fang-Fang, 2008. "A Study of Pricing Evolution in the Online Toy Market," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-19, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- Michael Sattinger, 2002. "A Queuing Model of the Market for Access to Trading Partners," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 533-548, May.
- Ioannis Ioannou & Julie Holland Mortimer & Richard Mortimer, 2008.
"The Effects of Capacity on Sales Under Alternative Vertical Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
14611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ioannis Ioannou & Julie Holland Mortimer & Richard Mortimer, 2011. "The Effects Of Capacity On Sales Under Alternative Vertical Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 117-154, 03.
- Taylor, Curt, 2004. "Privacy and Information Acquisition in Competitive Markets," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5hk0k89w, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
- Florian Zettelmeyer & Fiona Scott Morton & Jorge Silva-Risso, 2006. "Scarcity Rents in Car Retailing: Evidence from Inventory Fluctuations at Dealerships," NBER Working Papers 12177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2007. "Mass Torts and the Incentives for Suit, Settlement, and Trial," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0713, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Ruiz-Aliseda, Francisco, 2009. "Misinformative advertising," IESE Research Papers D/809, IESE Business School.
- R. Preston McAfee & Hugo Mialon & Sue Mialon, 2005.
"Does Large Price Discrimination Imply Great Market Power?,"
0525, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
- McAfee, R. Preston & Mialon, Hugo M. & Mialon, Sue H., 2006. "Does large price discrimination imply great market power?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 360-367, September.
- Arnold, Michael A. & Saliba, Christine, 2011. "Asymmetric capacity constraints and equilibrium price dispersion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 158-160, May.
- Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.