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An experimental examination of competitor-based price matching guarantees

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  • Mago, Shakun Datta
  • Pate, Jennifer G.

Abstract

We use experimental methods to demonstrate the anti-competitive potential of price matching guarantees in both symmetric and asymmetric cost duopolies. Our findings establish that when costs are symmetric, price matching guarantees significantly increase market prices. In markets with cost asymmetries, guaranteed prices remain high relative to prices without the use of guarantees, but the overall ability of price guarantees to act as a collusion facilitating device becomes contingent on the relative cost difference. Lesser use of guarantees, combined with lower average prices and slower convergence to the collusive level, suggests that the mere presence of cost asymmetries may curtail collusive behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Mago, Shakun Datta & Pate, Jennifer G., 2009. "An experimental examination of competitor-based price matching guarantees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 342-360, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:70:y:2009:i:1-2:p:342-360
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Pollak, 2017. "Do Price-Matching Guarantees with Markups Facilitate Tacit Collusion? Theory and Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics 93, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    2. Pio Baake & Ulrich Schwalbe, 2013. "Price Guarantees, Consumer Search, and Hassle Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1335, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Enrique Fatás & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Juan A. Máñez & Gerardo Sabater, 2013. "Experimental duopolies under price guarantees," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 15-35, January.
    4. Dewenter Ralf & Schwalbe Ulrich, 2016. "Preisgarantien im Kraftstoffmarkt," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 276-288, September.
    5. Dong, Gang & Huang, Rongbing & Ng, Peggy, 2016. "Tacit collusion between two terminals of a port," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 199-211.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price matching Price guarantees Laboratory Collusion;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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