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Market power, price discrimination, and allocative efficiency in intermediate-goods markets

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  • Roman Inderst
  • Greg Shaffer

Abstract

We consider a monopolistic supplier's optimal choice of two-part tariff contracts when downstream firms are asymmetric. We find that the optimal discriminatory contracts amplify differences in downstream firms' competitiveness. Firms that are larger-either because they are more efficient or because they sell a superior product-obtain a lower wholesale price than their rivals. This increases allocative efficiency by favoring the more productive firms. In contrast, we show that a ban on price discrimination reduces allocative efficiency and can lead to higher wholesale prices for all firms. As a result, consumer surplus, industry profits, and welfare are lower. Copyright (c) 2009, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:40:y:2009:i:4:p:658-672
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roman Inderst & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Price discrimination in input markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 1-19.
    2. Leslie M. Marx & Greg Shaffer, 2007. "Upfront payments and exclusion in downstream markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 823-843, September.
    3. Simon Cowan, 2007. "The welfare effects of third-degree price discrimination with nonlinear demand functions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 419-428, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Katz, Michael L, 1987. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 154-167, March.
    6. Patrick Rey & Thibaud Vergé, 2004. "Bilateral Control with Vertical Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 728-746, Winter.
    7. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-230, March.
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