The impact of bargaining on markets with price takers: Too many bargainers spoil the broth
In this paper we study how bargainers impact on markets in which firms set a list price to sell to those consumers who take prices as given. The list price acts as an outside option for the bargainers, so the higher the list price, the more the firms can extract from bargainers. We find that an increase in the proportion of consumers seeking to bargain can lower consumer surplus overall, even though new bargainers receive a lower price. The reason is that the list price for those who do not bargain and the bargained prices for those who were already bargaining rise: sellers have a greater incentive to make the bargainers' outside option less attractive, reducing the incentive to compete for price takers. Competition Authority exhortations to bargain can therefore be misplaced. We also consider the implications for optimal seller bargaining.
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.
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.
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.:
- Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
- Yongmin Chen & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1994.
"On the Use of Ceiling-Price Commitments by Monopolists,"
0045, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- Yongmin Chen & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1996. "On the Use of Ceiling-Price Commitments by Monopolists," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 207-220, Summer.
- Chen, Y. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1994. "On the Use of Ceiling-Price Commitment by Monopolists," Papers 45, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- Raskovich, Alexander, 2007. "Competition or collusion? Negotiating discounts off posted prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 341-354, April.
- Bester, Helmut, 1993. "Bargaining versus Price Competition in Markets with Quality Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 278-88, March.
- Camera, Gabriele & Selcuk, Cemil, 2004.
"Price Dispersion with Directed Search,"
Purdue University Economics Working Papers
1173, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Gabriele Camera & Alain Delacroix, 2004.
"Trade Mechanism Selection in Markets with Frictions,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 851-868, October.
- Camera, Gabriele & Delacroix, Alain, 2003. "Trade Mechanism Selection in Markets with Frictions," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1166, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
- Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and ripoffs: a model of monopolistically competitive price dispersion," Special Studies Papers 94, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Chen, Y. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1993.
"Asking Prices as Commitment Devices,"
42, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
- Wang, Ruqu, 1995. "Bargaining versus posted-price selling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1747-1764, December.
- Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118.
- Arnold, Michael A & Lippman, Steven A, 1998. "Posted Prices versus Bargaining in Markets with Asymmetric Information," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 450-57, July.
- Davis, Douglas D. & Holt, Charles A., 1994. "The effects of discounting opportunities in laboratory posted-offer markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 249-253.
- Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
- Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel & Milam, Garrett H., 2003. "Bargaining versus posted price competition in customer markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 223-251, February.
- Preyas S. Desai & Devavrat Purohit, 2004. "“Let Me Talk to My Manager”: Haggling in a Competitive Environment," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(2), pages 219-233, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:6:p:658-674. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.