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Private Standards als Ursache vertikaler Abhängigkeiten?


  • Vanessa von Schlippenbach
  • Isabel Teichmann


Consumer goods undergo a series of transformations and transactions before they reach the consumer. Their quality is, therefore, determined by the qualities obtained at each single step of the value chain. Consequently, quality assurance along the whole value chain is of utmost importance for the economic success. Hereby, in particular standards play an increasing role. Standards set individually by retailers, however, can significantly raise the retailer's buyer power vis-à-vis the suppliers. This is particularly true if the suppliers depend on certain buyers due to necessary specific investments. This dependence can be counteracted by a harmonization of the standards as this will improve the suppliers' outside options. Konsumgüter durchlaufen verschiedene Transformations- und Transaktionsstufen, bevor sie den Verbraucher erreichen. Die Qualität der Güter bestimmt sich demzufolge aus den Qualitäten, die auf den einzelnen Stufen der Wertschöpfungskette erzielt werden. Die Qualitätssicherung entlang der gesamten Wertschöpfungskette ist daher von besonderer Bedeutung für den wirtschaftlichen Erfolg. Insbesondere Standards spielen hierbei eine zunehmende Rolle. Individuell vom Einzelhandel gesetzte Standards können allerdings dessen Nachfragemacht gegenüber den Zulieferern maßgeblich erhöhen. Dies gilt insbesondere dann, wenn es aufgrund notwendiger spezifischer Investitionen zu Abhängigkeiten der Zulieferer von bestimmten Käufern kommt. Dem kann durch die Harmonisierung von Standards entgegengewirkt werden, da sich hierdurch die alternativen Handlungsmöglichkeiten der Zulieferer verbessern.

Suggested Citation

  • Vanessa von Schlippenbach & Isabel Teichmann, 2009. "Private Standards als Ursache vertikaler Abhängigkeiten?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(3), pages 175-187.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-3-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
    2. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-245, November.
    3. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
    4. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    5. Brian Roe & Ian Sheldon, 2007. "Credence Good Labeling: The Efficiency and Distributional Implications of Several Policy Approaches," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1020-1033.
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    More about this item


    Private standards; minimum quality standards; vertical relations;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts


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