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Timing of investments and third degree price discrimination in intermediate good markets

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  • Li, Youping
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    Abstract

    We study third degree price discrimination in intermediate good markets, in which costs of production for the downstream firms are determined by their investment choices. We focus on the effect of the sequence of firm actions and analyze two models with different timing of investments, before or after the upstream monopolist sets the input prices. When investments are determined after the prices are set, an indirect effect of input prices on the derived demand from downstream firms must be taken into account, due to the change of investment incentives. This causes the upstream firm to possibly charge the more efficient downstream firm a lower price, a result contrasting previous findings. Using linear demand and quadratic investment costs, we show that not only the downstream firms but also the upstream monopolist prefers the sequence of play in the latter model, i.e., it benefits from committing to prices before investments are undertaken. A change of timing from the first model to the second constitutes a strict Pareto improvement.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36746.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36746

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    Keywords: price discrimination; intermediate good; investments; timing;

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    1. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
    2. Roman Inderst & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Price discrimination in input markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 1-19.
    3. Simon Cowan, 2007. "The welfare effects of third-degree price discrimination with non-linear demand functions," Economics Series Working Papers 364, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Schmalensee, Richard., 1980. "Output and welfare implications of monopolistic third-degree price discrimination," Working papers 1095-80., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. Yoshihiro Yoshida, 2000. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Output and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 240-246, March.
    6. Malueg, David A, 1993. "Bounding the Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1011-21, September.
    7. Roman Inderst & Greg Shaffer, 2009. "Market power, price discrimination, and allocative efficiency in intermediate-goods markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 658-672.
    8. Schwartz, Marius, 1990. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination and Output: Generalizing a Welfare Result," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1259-62, December.
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