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Bilateral Control with Vertical Contracts

  • Rey, Patrick
  • Vergé, Thibaud

A supplier is known to be subject to opportunism when contracting secretly with downstream competitors, particularly when downstream firms have "passive beliefs.'' We stress that in many situations, an equilibrium with passive beliefs may not exist and passive beliefs appear less plausible than "wary beliefs,'' introduced by McAfee and Schwartz (1994). We show that in a broad range of situations, equilibria with wary beliefs exist and reflect opportunism. Last, we confirm the insight, derived by O'Brien and Shaffer (1992) using a more ad hoc equilibrium concept, that resale price maintenance (RPM) eliminates the scope for opportunism.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 202.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in The RAND Journal of Economics, vol.�35, n°4, Winter 2004, p.�728-746.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:613
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  1. Martin, Stephen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Snyder, Christopher M, 2001. "Vertical Foreclosure in Experimental Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 466-96, Autumn.
  2. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2003. "Robust Predictions for Bilateral Contracting with Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 757-791, 05.
  3. Daniel P. O'Brien & Greg Shaffer, 1992. "Vertical Control with Bilateral Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 299-308, Autumn.
  4. Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "A Primer on Foreclosure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  5. Henrick Horn & Asher Wolinsky, 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies and Incentives for Merger," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 408-419, Autumn.
  6. Hart, O. & Tirole, J., 1990. "Vertical Integration And Market Foreclosure," Working papers 548, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Patrick de Graba, 1996. "Most-Favored-Customer Clauses and Multilateral Contracting: When Nondiscrimination Implies Uniformity," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 565-579, December.
  8. DeGraba, Patrick & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Exclusivity Clauses and Best Price Policies in Input Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 423-54, Fall.
  9. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
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