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An empirical investigation of the welfare effects of banning wholesale price discrimination

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  • Sofia Berto Villas-Boas

Abstract

Economic theory does not provide sharp predictions on the welfare effects of banning wholesale price discrimination: if downstream cost differences exist, then discrimination shifts production inefficiently, toward high-cost retailers, so a ban increases welfare; if differences in price elasticity of demand across retailers exist, discrimination may increase welfare if quantity sold increases, so a ban reduces welfare. Using retail prices and quantities of coffee brands sold by German retailers, I estimate a model of demand and supply and separate cost and demand differences. Simulating a ban on wholesale price discrimination has positive welfare effects in this market, and less if downstream cost differences shrink, or with less competition. Copyright (c) 2009, RAND.

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  • Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2009. "An empirical investigation of the welfare effects of banning wholesale price discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 20-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:40:y:2009:i:1:p:20-46
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    Cited by:

    1. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2013. "Intertemporal Price Discrimination in Storable Goods Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2722-2751, December.
    2. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:2:p:540-554 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Graddy, Kathryn & Hall, George, 2011. "A dynamic model of price discrimination and inventory management at the Fulton Fish Market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 6-19.
    4. Celine Bonnet & Pierre Dubois & Sofia B. Villas Boas & Daniel Klapper, 2013. "Empirical Evidence on the Role of Nonlinear Wholesale Pricing and Vertical Restraints on Cost Pass-Through," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 500-515, May.
    5. Daniel Garcia & Jun Honda & Maarten Janssen, 2017. "The Double Diamond Paradox," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 63-99, August.
    6. Philip G. Gayle, 2013. "On the Efficiency of Codeshare Contracts between Airlines: Is Double Marginalization Eliminated?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 244-273, November.
    7. Brian Adams & Kevin R. Williams, 2017. "Zone Pricing in Retail Oligopoly," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2079, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Ioannis N. Pinopoulos, 2018. "Input price discrimination with secret linear contracting," Discussion Paper Series 2018_01, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Jan 2018.
    9. Karp, Larry & Perloff, Jeffrey, 2011. "The iPhone Goes Downstream: Mandatory Universal Distribution∗," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt7vc007jh, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    10. Ciapanna, Emanuela & Rondinelli, Concetta, 2014. "Retail market structure and consumer prices in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1744, European Central Bank.
    11. Karp Larry S. & Perloff Jeffrey M., 2013. "Vertical Contracts and Mandatory Universal Distribution," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 595-626, October.
    12. Chin Yang & Anthony Loviscek & Hui Cheng & Ken Hung, 2012. "A Note on Allen’s Arc Elasticity with Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic Means," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 40(2), pages 161-171, June.
    13. Chin-Sheng Chen, 2017. "Price Discrimination in Input Markets and Quality Differentiation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 50(3), pages 367-388, May.
    14. Adachi, Takanori & Ebina, Takeshi, 2014. "Cost pass-through and inverse demand curvature in vertical relationships with upstream and downstream competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 465-468.
    15. Matthew Grennan, 2013. "Price Discrimination and Bargaining: Empirical Evidence from Medical Devices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 145-177, February.
    16. Li, Jia & Moul, Charles C., 2015. "Who should handle retail? Vertical contracts, customer service, and social welfare in a Chinese mobile phone market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 29-43.
    17. Giarratana, Marco S. & Fosfuri, Andrea & Roca, Esther, 2010. "Community-based strategies in action: building and sustaining a product differentiation advantage," INDEM - Working Paper Business Economic Series id-10-01, Instituto para el Desarrollo Empresarial (INDEM).
    18. Emanuela Ciapanna & Concetta Rondinelli, 2011. "Retail sector concentration and price dynamics in the euro area: a regional analysis," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 107, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    19. Chin-Sheng Chen & Hong Hwang, 2014. "Spatial Price Discrimination in Input Markets with an Endogenous Market Boundary," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 45(2), pages 139-152, September.
    20. Adida, Elodie & Ratisoontorn, Nantaporn, 2011. "Consignment contracts with retail competition," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 215(1), pages 136-148, November.

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