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An Empirical Analysis of Bundling and Tying: Over-the-Counter Pain Relief and Cold Medicines

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  • David S. Evans
  • Michael Salinger

Abstract

We apply and extend the cost-based approach to bundling and tying under competition developed in Evans and Salinger (2004a) to over-the-counter pain relievers and cold medicines. We document that consumers pay much less for tablets with multiple ingredients than they would to buy tablets with each ingredient separately. We then decompose the sources of these savings into marginal cost savings and a component that reflects fixed costs of product offerings. The analysis both documents substantial economies of bundling and illustrates the sort of cost analysis that is necessary for understanding tying.

Suggested Citation

  • David S. Evans & Michael Salinger, 2004. "An Empirical Analysis of Bundling and Tying: Over-the-Counter Pain Relief and Cold Medicines," CESifo Working Paper Series 1297, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1297
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miravete, Eugenio J, 2004. "Are all those Calling Plans Really Necessary? The Limited Gains From Complex Tariffs," CEPR Discussion Papers 4237, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. David S. Evans & Michael A. Salinger, 2008. "The Role Of Cost In Determining When Firms Offer Bundles," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 143-168, March.
    3. Ariel Pakes & Paul McGuire, 1994. "Computing Markov-Perfect Nash Equilibria: Numerical Implications of a Dynamic Differentiated Product Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(4), pages 555-589, Winter.
    4. Chaim Fershtman & Ariel Pakes, 2000. "A Dynamic Oligopoly with Collusion and Price Wars," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 207-236, Summer.
    5. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
    6. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82.
    7. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1987. "Do Entry Conditions Vary across Markets?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 833-882.
    8. Morrison, Steven A & Winston, Clifford, 1987. "Empirical Implications and Tests of the Contestability Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 53-66, April.
    9. Gregory Crawford, 2008. "The discriminatory incentives to bundle in the cable television industry," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 41-78, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2004. "EU Merger Control in Differentiated Product Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1312, CESifo.
    2. Karine Lamiraud & Pierre Stadelmann, 2020. "Switching costs in competitive health insurance markets: The role of insurers' pricing strategies," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(9), pages 992-1012, September.

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