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Tying, Upgrades, and Switching Costs in Durable-Goods Markets

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  • Dennis W. Carlton
  • Michael Waldman

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of product upgrades and consumer switching costs in the tying of complementary products. Previous analyses of tying have found that a monopolist of one product cannot increase its profits and reduce social welfare by tying and monopolizing a complementary product if the initial monopolized product is essential, where essential means that all uses of the complementary good require the initial monopolized product. We show that this is not true in durable-goods settings characterized by product upgrades, where we show tying is especially important when consumer switching costs are present. In addition to our results concerning tying our analysis also provides a new rationale for leasing in durable-goods markets. We also discuss various extensions including the role of the reversibility of tying as well as the antitrust implications of our analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 2005. "Tying, Upgrades, and Switching Costs in Durable-Goods Markets," NBER Working Papers 11407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11407
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Johnson, Justin P & Waldman, Michael, 2003. " Leasing, Lemons, and Buybacks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 247-265, Summer.
    2. Jay Pil Choi, 2004. "Tying and innovation: A dynamic analysis of tying arrangements," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 83-101, January.
    3. Igal Hendel & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2002. "The Role of Leasing under Adverse Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 113-143, February.
    4. Michael Waldman, 1996. "Planned Obsolescence and the R&D Decision," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 583-595, Autumn.
    5. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1989. "Optimal Contracts with Lock-In," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 51-68, March.
    6. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    7. Hodaka Morita & Michael Waldman, 2004. "Durable Goods, Monopoly Maintenance, and Time Inconsistency," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 273-302, June.
    8. Igal Hendel & Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Interfering with Secondary Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(1), pages 1-21, Spring.
    9. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 123-137, Spring.
    10. Jay Pil Choi, 1996. "Preemptive R&D, Rent Dissipation, and the "Leverage Theory"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1153-1181.
    11. Richard J. Gilbert & Michael L. Katz, 2001. "An Economist's Guide to U.S. v. Microsoft," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
    12. Michael Waldman, 2003. "Durable Goods Theory for Real World Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 131-154, Winter.
    13. Choi, Jay Pil & Stefanadis, Christodoulos, 2001. "Tying, Investment, and the Dynamic Leverage Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 52-71, Spring.
    14. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-394.
    15. Waldman, Michael, 1997. "Eliminating the Market for Secondhand Goods: An Alternative Explanation for Leasing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 61-92, April.
    16. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
    17. Lee, In Ho & Lee, Jonghwa, 1998. "A Theory of Economic Obsolescence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 383-401, September.
    18. William James Adams & Janet L. Yellen, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-498.
    19. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dennis W. Carlton & Joshua S. Gans & Michael Waldman, 2010. "Why Tie a Product Consumers Do Not Use?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 85-105, August.
    2. Greenlee, Patrick & Reitman, David & Sibley, David S., 2008. "An antitrust analysis of bundled loyalty discounts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1132-1152, September.
    3. Jin-Hyuk Kim, 2008. "Digital Rights Management and Technological Tying," Working Papers 08-05, NET Institute, revised Sep 2008.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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