Buyer Concentration As A Source Of Countervailing Power: Evidence From Experimental Posted-Offer Markets
We experimentally examine the impact of buyer concentration on the pricing of a monopolist. In our experimental markets, a monopolist faces either two or four buyers. Markets with two buyers achieve significantly lower prices, sometimes below competitive levels, than those with four buyers. We design an additional pair of treatments to pinpoint the source of this difference. We attribute the lower pries in the two-buyer treatment to the monopolist pricing more cautiously when there are fewer buyers in order to avoid costly losses in sales. Buyer concentration may thus be an elective source of countervailing power.
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