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Do Buyer-Size Discounts Depend on the Curvature of the Surplus Function? Experimental Tests of Bargaining Models

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Abstract

A number of recent theoretical papers have shown that for buyer-size discounts to emerge in a bargaining model, the total surplus function over which parties bargain must have certain nonlinearities. We test the theory in an experimental setting in which a seller bargains with a number of buyers of different sizes. We generate nonlinearities in the surplus function by varying the shape of the seller’s cost function. Our results strongly support the theory. As predicted, large-buyer discounts emerge only in the case of increasing marginal cost, corresponding to a concave surplus function.

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File URL: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/economics/Research/WorkingPapers/pdf/dpe0401.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 04/01.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision: Apr 2004
Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0401

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Postal: Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.
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Keywords: Bargaining; Large-Buyer Discounts; Experiments;

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References

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  1. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley J Ruffle, 2002. "Buyer Countervailing Power versus Monopoly Power: Evidence from Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Economics Series Working Papers 2002-W14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Plott, Charles R. & Smith, Vernon L., . "An Experimental Examination of Two Exchange Institutions," Working Papers 83, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  4. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  5. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
  6. Inderst, Roman & Wey, Christian, 2003. " Bargaining, Mergers, and Technology Choice in Bilaterally Oligopolistic Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
  7. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410, July.
  8. Sara Fisher Ellison & Christopher M. Snyder, 2010. "COUNTERVAILING POWER IN WHOLESALE PHARMACEUTICALS -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 32-53, 03.
  9. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  10. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
  11. Katz, Michael L, 1987. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 154-67, March.
  12. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  13. Suchan Chae & Paul Heidhues, 1999. "The Effects of Downstream Distributor Chains on Upstream Producer Entry: A Bargaining Perspective," CIG Working Papers FS IV 99-35, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  14. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2000. "Some factors affecting demand withholding in posted-offer markets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 529-544.
  15. Dobson, Paul W & Waterson, Michael, 1997. "Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 418-30, March.
  16. Suchan Chae & Paul Heidhues, 1999. "Bargaining Power of a Coalition in Parallel Bargaining: Advantage of Multiple Cable System Operators," CIG Working Papers FS IV 99-01, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  17. Scheffman, David T & Spiller, Pablo T, 1992. "Buyer's Strategies, Entry Barriers, and Competition," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 418-36, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hinloopen, Jeroen & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2014. "Output commitment through product bundling: Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 164-180.
  2. Linda Goldberg & Cédric Tille, 2013. "A Bargaining Theory of Trade Invoicing and Pricing," Kiel Working Papers 1839, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Lisa Bruttel, 2013. "Is there an exclusionary effect of retroactive price reduction schemes?," TWI Research Paper Series 84, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  4. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2012. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," DICE Discussion Papers 74, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  5. Douglas D. Davis & Bart J. Wilson, 2006. "Strategic Buyers, Horizontal Mergers and Synergies: An Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 0601, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. Mikhael Shor, 2008. "An experiment on strategic capacity reduction," Working papers 2012-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  7. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2006. "Buyer Concentration As A Source Of Countervailing Power: Evidence From Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2006-12, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  8. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2013. "When Do Large Buyers Pay Less? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 108-137, 03.
  9. Normann, Hans-Theo, 2010. "Experimentelle Ökonomik für die Wettbewerbspolitik," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 06, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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