IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Buyer power and supplier incentives

  • Inderst, Roman
  • Wey, Christian

This Paper investigates how the formation of larger buyers affects a supplier's profits and, by doing so, his incentives to undertake non-contractible activities. We first identify two channels of buyer power, which allows larger buyers to obtain discounts. We subsequently examine the effects of buyer power on the supplier's incentives and social welfare. Contrary to some informal claims in the policy debate on buyer power, we find that the exercise of buyer power -even though reducing supplier's profits- may often increase a supplier's incentive to undertake welfare enhancing activities.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 51 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 647-667

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:51:y:2007:i:3:p:647-667
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  2. Leonardo Felli & Kevin Roberts, 2001. "Does competition solve the hold-up problem?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3579, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Suchan Chae & Paul Heidhues, 2003. "Buyers’ Alliances for Bargaining Power," CIG Working Papers SP II 2003-24, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  4. Daniel P. O'Brien & Greg Shaffer, 1997. "Nonlinear Supply Contracts, Exclusive Dealing, and Equilibrium Market Foreclosure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 755-785, December.
  5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
  6. David de Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options and the Property Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386.
  7. Anthony Dukes & Esther Gal–Or, 2003. "Negotiations and Exclusivity Contracts for Advertising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 222-245, November.
  8. Zhiqi Chen, 2001. "Dominant Retailers and the Countervailing Power Hypothesis," Carleton Economic Papers 01-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 2003.
  9. Scheffman, David T & Spiller, Pablo T, 1992. "Buyer's Strategies, Entry Barriers, and Competition," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 418-36, July.
  10. Henrick Horn & Asher Wolinsky, 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies and Incentives for Merger," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 408-419, Autumn.
  11. Rachel E. Kranton & Deborah F. Minehart, 2000. "Networks versus Vertical Integration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 570-601, Autumn.
  12. Sara Fisher Ellison & Christopher M. Snyder, 2010. "COUNTERVAILING POWER IN WHOLESALE PHARMACEUTICALS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 32-53, 03.
  13. Patrick Bolton & Michael D. Whinston, 1993. "Incomplete Contracts, Vertical Integration, and Supply Assurance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 121-148.
  14. Ronald W. Cotterill, 1997. "The food distribution system of the future: Convergence towards the US or UK model?," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 123-135.
  15. Emmanuel Petrakis & Chrysovalantou Miliou & Nikos Vettas, 2009. "(In)efficient trading forms in competing vertical chains," Working Papers 0916, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  16. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-60, March.
  17. Paul Dobson & Michael Waterson, 1999. "Retailer power: recent developments and policy implications," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 133-164, 04.
  18. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  19. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2001. "Contractual Externalities and Common Agency Equilibria," CESifo Working Paper Series 581, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Dobson, Paul W & Waterson, Michael, 1997. "Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 418-30, March.
  21. Horn, Henrik & Wolinsky, Asher, 1988. "Worker Substitutability and Patterns of Unionisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 484-97, June.
  22. Innes, Robert & Sexton, Richard J., 1993. "Customer coalitions, monopoly price discrimination and generic entry deterrence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1569-1597, December.
  23. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
  24. Michael Waterson, 1980. "Price-Cost Margins and Successive Market Power," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 135-150.
  25. 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 210-30, March.
  26. Chiu, Y Stephen, 1998. "Noncooperative Bargaining, Hostages, and Optimal Asset Ownership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 882-901, September.
  27. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  28. Björnerstedt, Jonas & Stennek, Johan, 2001. "Bilateral Oligopoly," CEPR Discussion Papers 2864, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Differentiation and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 407-14, May.
  30. Katz, Michael L, 1987. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 154-67, March.
  31. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1996. "Countervailing power revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 507-519, June.
  32. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
  33. Daniel F. Spulber, 2002. "Market Microstructure and Incentives to Invest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 352-381, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:51:y:2007:i:3:p:647-667. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.