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Intermediation and Investment Incentives

  • Belleflamme, Paul
  • Peitz, Martin

We analyze whether and how the fact that products are not sold on open or public platforms but on competing for-profit platforms affects sellers’ investment incentives. Investments in cost reduction, quality, or marketing measures are here the joint and coordinated efforts by sellers. We show that, in general, for-profit intermediation is not neutral to such investment incentives. As for-profit intermediaries reduce the rents that are available in the market, one might suspect that sellers have weaker investment incentives with competing for-profit platforms. However, this is not necessarily the case. The reason is that investment incentives affect the size of the network effects and thus competition between intermediaries. In particular, we show that whether for-profit intermediation raises or lowers investment incentives depends on which side of the market singlehomes.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6214.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6214
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  1. Volker Nocke & Martin Peitz & Konrad Stahl, 2007. "Platform Ownership," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1130-1160, December.
  2. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," IDEI Working Papers 152, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Kaiser, Ulrich & Wright, Julian, 2006. "Price structure in two-sided markets: Evidence from the magazine industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-28, January.
  4. repec:cpi:cpijrn:3.1.2007:i=4907 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. John Rust & George Hall, 2001. "Middle Men Versus Market Makers: A Theory of Competitive Exchange," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1299, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Evans David S., 2003. "Some Empirical Aspects of Multi-sided Platform Industries," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-19, September.
  7. Kamien, Morton I & Muller, Eitan & Zang, Israel, 1992. "Research Joint Ventures and R&D Cartels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1293-306, December.
  8. Mark Armstrong & Julian Wright, 2007. "Two-sided Markets, Competitive Bottlenecks and Exclusive Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 353-380, August.
  9. Thomas Gehrig, 1993. "Intermediation in Search Markets," Discussion Papers 1058, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Daniel F. Spulber, 2002. "Market Microstructure and Incentives to Invest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 352-381, April.
  11. Daniel F. Spulber, 1996. "Market Microstructure and Intermediation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 135-152, Summer.
  12. repec:rus:hseeco:72158 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Industrial Organization 0505009, EconWPA.
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