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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 B.

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 larger the simulated cost shocks or 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 Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 565.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision: Sep 2011
Publication status: Published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, mai 2013, p.�500-515.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:21003

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00736556 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2011. "Tax incidence with strategic firms on the soft drink market," TSE Working Papers 11-233, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2012.
  4. Hellerstein, Rebecca & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2010. "Outsourcing and Pass-Through," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt8098p5nq, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  5. Smith, Howard & Thomassen, Øyvind, 2012. "Multi-category demand and supermarket pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 309-314.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. Olivier Allais & Fabrice Etilé & Sébastien Lecocq, 2012. "Mandatory labels, taxes and market forces: An empirical evaluation of fat policies," PSE Working Papers halshs-00736556, HAL.
  11. 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.

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