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Managing Switching Costs in Multiperiod Procurements with Strategic Buyers


  • Lewis, Tracy R.
  • Yildirim, Huseyin


This paper examines the use of switching costs by long lived strategic buyers to manage dynamic competition between rival suppliers. The analysis reveals how buyers may employ switching costs to their advantage. We show, ironically, when switching costs are high a buyer may induce suppliers to price more competitively by credibly threatening to replace the incumbent supplier with his rivals. The implication of these findings for adoption of technology and firm organization are explored in setting where buyers are integrated with their suppliers and where the buyer is an outsourcer.

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  • Lewis, Tracy R. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2003. "Managing Switching Costs in Multiperiod Procurements with Strategic Buyers," Working Papers 03-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:03-04

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    12. Taylor, Curtis R, 2003. " Supplier Surfing: Competition and Consumer Behavior in Subscription Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 223-246, Summer.
    13. Greg Shaffer & Z. John Zhang, 2000. "Pay to Switch or Pay to Stay: Preference-Based Price Discrimination in Markets with Switching Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 397-424, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rosar, Frank & Mueller, Florian, 2014. "Negotiating cultures in corporate procurement," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100599, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2005. "Learning-by-Doing, Organizational Forgetting, and Industry Dynanmics," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 236, Society for Computational Economics.
    3. Rosar, Frank & Mueller, Florian, 2015. "Negotiating cultures in corporate procurement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 259-280.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm

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