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Long-Term Contracting and Multiple-Price Systems

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  • R. Glenn Hubbard
  • Robert J. Weiner

Abstract

This paper examines product markets in which long-term contracts and spot transactions coexist. Such markets are characterized by "multiple-price systems," wherein adjustment to supply and demand shocks occurs through spot prices, while contract prices are fixed, or adjust slowly. We derive the existence of contracts, as well as the equilibrium fraction of spot trade, in the framework of an optimizing model, and analyze the effects of shocks on market equilibrium when some buyers and sellers are "locked in" contractually. The model is employed to interpret the change in the copper market from a multiple-price system to one characterized solely by spot trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3782.

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Date of creation: Jul 1991
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Publication status: published as Journal of Business, April 1992, Vol. 65, pp. 177-198
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3782

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  1. Hubbard, R Glenn, 1986. "Supply Shocks and Price Adjustment in the World Oil Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 85-102, February.
  2. 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.
  3. McCafferty, Stephen & Driskill, Robert, 1980. "Problems of Existence and Uniqueness in Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1313-17, July.
  4. Robert E. Hall, 1984. "The Inefficiency of Marginal-Cost Pricing and The Apparent Rigidity of Prices," NBER Working Papers 1347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. D. W. Carlton, 1976. "Market Behavior With Demand Uncertainty and Price Inflexibility," Working papers 179, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  7. Newbery, David M., 1988. "On the accuracy of the mean-variance approximation for futures markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-68.
  8. Pratt, John W & Wise, David A & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. "Price Differences in Almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211, May.
  9. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  10. Carlton, Dennis W, 1979. "Vertical Integration in Competitive Markets under Uncertainty," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 189-209, March.
  11. Kawai, Masahiro, 1983. "Spot and Futures Prices of Nonsotrable Commodities under Rational Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 235-54, May.
  12. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1983. "The Determination of Spot and Futures Prices with Storable Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1363-87, September.
  13. Margaret E. Slade, 1991. "Strategic Pricing with Customer Rationing: The Case of Primary Metals," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 70-100, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Creti, Anna & Villeneuve, Bertrand, 2004. "Long-term contracts and take-or-pay clauses in natural gas Markets," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5372, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Miguel Vazquez & Michelle Hallack & Jean-Michel Glachant, 2013. "Gas Network and Market: à la carte?," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/73, European University Institute.
  3. Radetzki, Marian, 2013. "The relentless progress of commodity exchanges in the establishment of primary commodity prices," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 266-277.
  4. Pinelopi Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How Rigid Are Producer Prices?," Working Papers 1184, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  5. Robert Amano & Scott Hendry, 2003. "Inflation persistence and costly market share adjustment: a preliminary analysis," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 134-146 Bank for International Settlements.
  6. João Teixeira, 2014. "Outsourcing with long term contracts: capital structure and product market competition effects," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 327-356, February.

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