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

  • Dennis W. Carlton
  • Michael Waldman

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11407.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11407
Note: IO
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  1. Jay Pil Choi, 2004. "Tying and innovation: A dynamic analysis of tying arrangements," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 83-101, 01.
  2. Richard J. Gilbert & Michael L. Katz, 2001. "An Economist's Guide to U.S. v. Microsoft," Industrial Organization 0106001, EconWPA.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael Waldman, 2003. "Durable Goods Theory for Real World Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 131-154, Winter.
  5. Johnson, Justin P & Waldman, Michael, 2003. " Leasing, Lemons, and Buybacks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 247-65, Summer.
  6. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1987. "Optimal Contracts with Lock-In," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt19f324hf, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Igal Hendel & Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Interfering with Secondary Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(1), pages 1-21, Spring.
  8. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  9. 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.
  10. Michael Waldman, 1996. "Planned Obsolescence and the R&D Decision," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 583-595, Autumn.
  11. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1h02g9q4, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  12. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  13. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
  14. Igal Hendel & Alessandro Lizzeri, 1998. "The Role of Leasing under Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 6577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Klemperer, Paul, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-94, May.
  16. 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, 06.
  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. Choi, Jay Pil, 1996. "Preemptive R&D, Rent Dissipation, and the "Leverage Theory."," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1153-81, November.
  19. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187, February.
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