Contractual Form, Retail Price, and Asset Characteristics in Gasoline Retailing
Predictions from a principal-agent analysis of the manufacturer-retailer relationship are tested using microdata on contractual form, retail outlet characteristics, and retail prices for gasoline stations in eastern Massachusetts. The empirical results are consistent with upstream firms choosing contracts with strong incentives but less direct control when outlet characteristics make unobservable effort by downstream agents important. Manufacturers trade off incentive power for more direct control when observable effort is relatively more important. There is some evidence that the retail prices of some gasoline products are lower when the upstream firm is allowed to control the retail price directly.
Volume (Year): 24 (1993)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
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