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Upstream Competition and Downstream Buyer Power

  • Smith, Howard
  • Thanassoulis, John

This paper considers buyer power in the presence of upstream competition to supply a homogeneous product. A likely consequence of upstream competition is that each supplier is uncertain of its final output, because it does not know how many downstream buyers will select it as a seller. We present a model where, for this reason, final volumes are uncertain for each seller. We find a new source of buyer power when the surplus function is nonlinear: the event of negotiation with a large buyer increases the seller's expected output, which changes the expected average net surplus from the deal; this increases buyer power when the seller's surplus function is concave (and diminishes it when convex). We explore consequences for welfare, industry productivity, and investment incentives.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5803.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5803
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  1. Bjornerstedt, Jonas & Stennek, Johan, 2007. "Bilateral oligopoly -- The efficiency of intermediate goods markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 884-907, October.
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  10. Glenn MacDonald & Michael D. Ryall, 2004. "How Do Value Creation and Competition Determine Whether a Firm Appropriates Value?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(10), pages 1319-1333, October.
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  12. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
  13. Inderst, Roman & Shaffer, Greg, 2004. "Retail Mergers: Buyer Power and Product Variety," CEPR Discussion Papers 4236, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Joshua Gans & Catherine de Fontenay, 2004. "Vertical Integration in the Presence of Upstream Competition," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 7, Econometric Society.
  15. Victor P. Goldberg, 1977. "Competitive Bidding and the Production of Precontract Information," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 250-261, Spring.
  16. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
  17. Dobson, Paul W & Waterson, Michael, 1997. "Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 418-30, March.
  18. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
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