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When cost improvements harm consumers

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  • Nicolas Gruyer

    ()
    (LEEA (air transport economics laboratory), ENAC)

  • Philippe Bontems

    (University of Toulouse (INRA, IDEI))

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that in a vertical structure, improving cost efficiency might sometimes be detrimental to consumers, by increasing market price. This is in stark contrast to the standard result in oligopoly theory which suggests that the surplus generated by any efficiency gain in production is shared between firms and final consumers, depending on the degree of market power. These results are applied in contexts such as international trade, diffusion of knowledge and techniques, and government intervention through income support programs.

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File URL: http://gruyern.free.fr/wpaper/BontemsGruyer.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LEEA (air transport economics laboratory), ENAC (french national civil aviation school) in its series Economics Working Papers with number 03.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 24 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:enc:abcdef:cost3

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 21.
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Keywords: oligopsonists; retail; vertical structure; cost pass-through.;

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  1. Stephen F. Hamilton & David L. Sunding, 1997. "The Effect of Farm Supply Shifts on Concentration and Market Power in the Food Processing Sector," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 524-531.
  2. Barros, Pedro Pita & Brito, Duarte & de Lucena, Diogo, 2006. "Mergers in the food retailing sector: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 447-468, February.
  3. Salinger, Michael A, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-56, May.
  4. Sexton, Richard J. & Lavoie, Nathalie, 2001. "Food processing and distribution: An industrial organization approach," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 863-932 Elsevier.
  5. Stennek, Johan & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "Merger Control and Enterprise Competitiveness - Empirical Analysis and Policy Recommendations," Working Paper Series 556, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Stephen F. Hamilton & David Sunding, 1998. "Returns to Public Investments in Agriculture with Imperfect Downstream Competition," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(4), pages 830-838.
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