Manufacturer-Retailer Channel Interactions and Implications for Channel Power: An Empirical Investigation of Pricing in a Local Market
The issue of “power” in the marketing channels for consumer products has received considerable attention in both academic and practitioner journals as well as in the popular press. Our objective in this paper is to provide an empirical method to measure the power of channel members and to understand the reasons (demand factors, cost factors, nature of channel interactions) for this power. We confine our analysis to pricing power in channels. We use methods from the game-theory literature in marketing on channel interactions to obtain the theoretical framework for our empirical model. This literature provides us a definition of power—one that is based on the proportion (or percentage) of channel profits that accrue to each of the channel members. There can be a variety of possible channel interactions between manufacturers and retailers in channels. The theoretical literature has examined some of these games. For example, Choi (1991) examines how channel profits for manufacturers and retailer vary if channel interactions are either vertical Nash, or if they are Stackelberg leaderfollower with either the manufacturer or the retailer being the price leader. Each of these three channel interaction games has different implications for profits made by manufacturers and retailers, and consequently for the relative power of the channel members. In contrast to the previous literature that has focused largely on the above three channel interaction games, our model extends the game-theoretic literature by allowing for a continuum of possible channel interactions between manufacturers and a retailer. Furthermore, for a given product market, we empirically estimate from the data where the channel interactions lie in this continuum. More critically, we obtain measures of how channel profits are divided between manufacturers and the retailer in the product market, where a higher share of channel profit is associated with higher channel power. We then examine how channel power is related to demand conditions facing various brands and cost parameters of various manufacturers. In going from game-theory-based theoretical models of channel interactions to empirical estimation, we use the “new empirical industrial organization” framework (Bresnahan 1988). As part of this structural modeling framework, we build retail-level demand functions for the various brands (manufacturer and private label) in a given product category. Given these demand functions, we obtain optimal pricing rules for manufacturers and the retailer. In determining their optimal prices, manufacturers and the retailer account for how all the players in the channel choose their optimal prices. That is, we account for dependencies in decision making across channel members. These dependencies are characterized by a set of “conduct parameters,” which are estimated from market data. The conduct parameters enable us to identify the nature of channel interactions between manufacturers and the retailer (along the continuum mentioned previously). In addition to the demand and conduct parameters, manufacturers' marginal costs are also estimated in the model. These marginal cost estimates, along with the manufacturer prices and retail prices available in our dataset, enable us to compute the division of channel profits among the channel members. Hence, we are able to obtain insights into who has pricing power in the channel. In the empirical application of the model, we analyze a local market for two product categories: refrigerated juice and tuna. In both categories, there are three major brands. The difference between them is that the private label has an insignificant market share in the tuna category. Our main empirical results show that the usual games examined in the marketing literature do not hold for the given data. We also .nd that the retailer's market power is very significant in both these product categories, and that the estimated demand and cost parameters are consistent with the estimated pattern of conduct between the manufacturers and the retailer. Given the evidence from the trade press of intense manufacturer competition in these categories, as well as the “commodity” nature of these products, the result of retailer power appears intuitive.
Volume (Year): 19 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988.
"An Empirical Analysis of Dynamic, Nonprice Competition in an Oligopolistic Industry,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 200-220, Summer.
- Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "An Empirical Analysis Of Dynamic, Non-Price Competition In An Oligopolistic Industry," Papers 3-88-14, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
- Gelfand, Matthew D. & Spiller, Pablo T., 1987. "Entry barriers and multiproduct oligopolies: Do they forebear or spoil?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 101-113, March.
- Philip M. Parker & Lars-Hendrik Roller, 1997. "Collusive Conduct in Duopolies: Multimarket Contact and Cross-Ownership in the Mobile Telephone Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 304-322, Summer.
- S. Chan Choi, 1991. "Price Competition in a Channel Structure with a Common Retailer," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(4), pages 271-296.
- Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
- Abel P. Jeuland & Steven M. Shugan, 1988. "Note—Channel of Distribution Profits When Channel Members Form Conjectures," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 7(2), pages 202-210.
- Anne T. Coughlan, 1985. "Competition and Cooperation in Marketing Channel Choice: Theory and Application," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(2), pages 110-129.
- R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), 1989. "Handbook of Industrial Organization," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2.
- Paul R. Messinger & Chakravarthi Narasimhan, 1995. "Has Power Shifted in the Grocery Channel?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(2), pages 189-223.
- R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), 1989. "Handbook of Industrial Organization," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
- Connor, John M. & Peterson, Everett B., 1991.
"Market-Structure Determinants Of National Brand-Private Label Price Differences Of Manufactured Food Products,"
116099, Regional Research Project NE-165 Private Strategies, Public Policies, and Food System Performance.
- Connor, John M & Peterson, Everett B, 1992. "Market-Structure Determinants of National Brand-Private Label Price Differences of Manufactured Food Products," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 157-71, June.
- Eunkyu Lee & Richard Staelin, 1997. "Vertical Strategic Interaction: Implications for Channel Pricing Strategy," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(3), pages 185-207.
- Anne T. Coughlan & Birger Wernerfelt, 1989. "On Credible Delegation by Oligopolists: A Discussion of Distribution Channel Management," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(2), pages 226-239, February.
- Slade, Margaret E, 1995. "Product Rivalry with Multiple Strategic Weapons: An Analysis of Price and Advertising Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 445-76, Fall.
- Pablo T. Spiller & Edgardo Favaro, 1984. "The Effects of Entry Regulation on Oligopolistic Interaction: The Uruguayan Banking Sector," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 244-254, Summer.
- Timothy W. McGuire & Richard Staelin, 1983. "An Industry Equilibrium Analysis of Downstream Vertical Integration," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(2), pages 161-191.
- Spencer, David E & Berk, Kenneth N, 1981. "A Limited Information Specification Test [Specification Tests in Econometrics]," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1079-85, June.
- Jagmohan S. Raju & Raj Sethuraman & Sanjay K. Dhar, 1995. "The Introduction and Performance of Store Brands," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(6), pages 957-978, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:19:y:2000:i:2:p:127-148. 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: (Mirko Janc)
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.