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Making Sense of Nonbinding Retail-Price Recommendations

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  • Stefan Buehler
  • Dennis L. Gärtner

Abstract

We model retail-price recommendations (RPRs) as a communication device in vertical supply relations with private manufacturer information on production costs and consumer demand. With static trade, RPRs are irrelevant, and the equilibrium outcome is inefficient. With repeated trade, RPRs can become part of a relational contract, communicating private information from manufacturer to retailer that is indispensable for maximizing joint surplus. We show that this contract is self-enforcing if the retailer's profit is independent of production costs and punishment strategies are chosen appropriately. The predictions of our analysis are consistent with the available empirical evidence. (JEL D21, D24, L11, L14, L22, L60, L81)

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Buehler & Dennis L. Gärtner, 2013. "Making Sense of Nonbinding Retail-Price Recommendations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 335-359, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:1:p:335-59
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.1.335
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ilja Neustadt & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Economic Well-Being, Social Mobility, and Preferences for Income Redistribution: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0909, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2010.
    2. Babur De los Santos & In Kyung Kim & Dmitry Lubensky, 2013. "Do MSRPs Decrease Prices?," Working Papers 2013-13, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    3. Maurus Rischatsch & Maria Trottmann, 2009. "Physician dispensing and the choice between generic and brand-name drugs – Do margins affect choice?," SOI - Working Papers 0911, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    4. Dmitry Lubensky, 2011. "A Model of Recommended Retail Prices," Working Papers 2011-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    5. Aviv, Yossi & Bazhanov, Andrei & Levin, Yuri & Nediak, Mikhail, 2016. "Quantity Competition under Resale Price Maintenance when Most Favored Customers are Strategic," MPRA Paper 72011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Maurus Rischatsch, 2009. "Simulating WTP Values from Random-Coefficient Models," SOI - Working Papers 0912, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    7. Lømo, Teis Lunde & Ulsaker, Simen Aardal, 2016. "Promotional allowances," Working Papers in Economics 08/16, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    8. Bertini, Marco & Buehler, Stefan & Halbheer, Daniel, 2018. "Consumer Resistance," Economics Working Paper Series 1804, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    9. Lisa Bruttel, 2014. "The Effects of Non-binding Retail-price Recommendations on Consumer and Retailer Behavior," TWI Research Paper Series 93, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    10. Alp Atakan & Levent Kockesen & Elif Kubilay, 2018. "Starting Small to Communicate," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1805, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    11. repec:eee:indorg:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:353-370 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bazhanov, Andrei & Levin, Yuri & Nediak, Mikhail, 2015. "Quantity Competition in the Presence of Strategic Consumers," MPRA Paper 62075, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Fabrizi, Simona & Lippert, Steffen & Puppe, Clemens & Rosenkranz, Stephanie, 2016. "Manufacturer suggested retail prices, loss aversion and competition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 141-153.
    14. Sahuguet, Nicolas & Walckiers, Alexis, 2013. "Selling to a cartel of retailers: a model of hub-and-spoke collusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 9385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Maarten Janssen & Sandro Shelegia, 2015. "Consumer Search and Double Marginalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(6), pages 1683-1710, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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