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Slotting Allowances and Retail Product Variety under Oligopoly

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  • Innes, Robert
  • Hamilton, Stephen F.

Abstract

Slotting fees are fixed charges paid by food manufacturers to retailers for access to the retail market. The role of the practice and its effects on market efficiency are highly controversial. To date, the literature has focused on the effect of the practice on retail prices; however, slotting allowances also have the potential to alter the range of products available to consumers. Our analysis reveals that the strategic use of slotting allowances by oligopoly firms leads to a superior allocation of product variety among retailers. Indeed, absent price effects, we show that slotting allowances lead to the socially optimal provision of product variety.

Suggested Citation

  • Innes, Robert & Hamilton, Stephen F., 2010. "Slotting Allowances and Retail Product Variety under Oligopoly," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 60948, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea10:60948
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    2. Jeanine Miklós‐Thal & Patrick Rey & Thibaud Vergé, 2011. "Buyer Power And Intrabrand Coordination," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 721-741, August.
    3. Shaffer Greg, 2005. "Slotting Allowances and Optimal Product Variety," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, June.
    4. Patrick Rey & Thibaud Vergé, 2004. "Bilateral Control with Vertical Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 728-746, Winter.
    5. Leslie M. Marx & Greg Shaffer, 2007. "Upfront payments and exclusion in downstream markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 823-843, September.
    6. Robert Innes & Stephen F. Hamilton, 2009. "Vertical restraints and horizontal control," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 120-143.
    7. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1992. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 261-276, September.
    8. Innes, Robert & Hamilton, Stephen F., 2006. "Naked slotting fees for vertical control of multi-product retail markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 303-318, March.
    9. 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 210-230, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Benjamin Klein & Joshua D. Wright, 2007. "The Economics of Slotting Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 421-454.
    12. Greg Shaffer, 1991. "Slotting Allowances and Resale Price Maintenance: A Comparison of Facilitating Practices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 120-135, Spring.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Slotting fees; vertical contracts; monopolization.; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Industrial Organization; Marketing; L13; L14; L42; D43;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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