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Buyer Power through Producer's Differentiation

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  • Claire Chambolle

    (CECO - Laboratoire d'économétrie de l'École polytechnique - X - École polytechnique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Sofia Villas-Boas

    (University of California [Berkeley])

Abstract

This paper shows that retailers may choose to offer products differentiated in quality, not to relax downstream competition, but to improve their buyer power in the negotiation with their supplier. We consider a simple vertical industry where two producers sell products differentiated in quality to two retailers who operate in separated markets. In the game, first retailers choose which product to carry, then each retailer and her chosen producer bargain over the terms of a two-part tariff contract and retailers finally choose the quantities. When upstream production costs are convex, the share of the total profits going to the retailer would be higher if they choose to differentiate. We thus isolate the wish to differentiate as “only” due to increasing buyer power: via producer’s differentiation, the retailer gets a larger share of smaller total profits. This result also holds when retailers compete downstream. We derive the consequences of a differentiation induced by buyer power motives for consumer surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Claire Chambolle & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2007. "Buyer Power through Producer's Differentiation," Working Papers hal-00243058, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00243058
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00243058
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabian Bergès & Claire Chambolle, 2009. "Threat of Exit as a Source of Bargaining Power," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 75(3), pages 353-368.
    2. Inderst, Roman & Jakubovic, Zlata & Jovanovic, Dragan, 2015. "Buyer Power and Functional Competition for Innovation," MPRA Paper 61214, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Emanuele Bacchiega & Olivier Bonroy, 2015. "On the benefits of contractual inefficiency in quality-differentiated markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 846-863.
    4. Michaela Draganska & Daniel Klapper & Sofia B. Villas-Boas, 2010. "A Larger Slice or a Larger Pie? An Empirical Investigation of Bargaining Power in the Distribution Channel," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(1), pages 57-74, 01-02.
    5. E. Bacchiega & O. Bonroy & E. Petrakis, 2016. "Contract contingency in vertically related markets," Working Papers wp1079, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Vanessa von Schlippenbach & Isabel Teichmann, 2012. "The Strategic Use of Private Quality Standards in Food Supply Chains," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1189-1201.

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