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Buyer Countervailing Power: A Survey of Experimental Evidence

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  • Bradley J. Ruffle

    () (BGU)

Abstract

The rise of mega-retailers and industry concentration levels has recently generated an interest among economists and antitrust policymakers in the effects of buyer countervailing power. There exists a considerable theoretical literature offering a range of sources of powerful buyers’ ability to extract price discounts. The explanations that have been tested experimentally have all found laboratory support. This paper surveys the theoretical literature on countervailing power, emphasizing experimental tests where available. The increasing policy relevance of this topic and the blossoming of theoretical models contrasted with the dearth of experimental tests point to fruitful directions for research.

Suggested Citation

  • Bradley J. Ruffle, 2005. "Buyer Countervailing Power: A Survey of Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0512, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bgu:wpaper:0512
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    File URL: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/humsos/Econ/Workingpapers/0512.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2013. "When Do Large Buyers Pay Less? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 108-137, March.
    2. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2006. "The Strategies Behind Their Actions: A Method To Infer Repeated-Game Strategies And An Application To Buyer Behavior," Departmental Working Papers 2005-04, McGill University, Department of Economics.
    3. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2006. "Buyer Concentration As A Source Of Countervailing Power: Evidence From Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2006-12, McGill University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    buyer power; experimental economics; price discrimination; quantity discounts;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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