Competition in Prices and Service Level Guarantees
In this paper we study the implications of service level guarantees (SLGs) in a model of oligopoly competition where providers compete to deliver a service to congestion-sensitive consumers. The SLG is a contractual obligation on the part of the service provider: regardless of how many customers subscribe, the firm is responsible for investing in infrastructure, capacity, or service quality so that the congestion experienced by all subscribers is equal to the SLG. First, we analyze a game where firms compete by setting prices and SLGs simultaneously. We establish that this game can be reduced to standard oligopoly models of price competition, greatly simplifying the analysis of this otherwise complex competitive scenario. Notably, we find that when costs in the original game are convex, the resulting equivalent pricing game also has convex costs. Further, for a broad class of models exhibiting constant returns to investment, the resulting pricing game is equivalent to a standard price game with constant marginal costs; many loss systems, such as those modeled by the Erlang loss formula, exhibit constant returns to investment. We then consider another commonly used contractual agreement between firms and customers: firms first set prices and investment levels simultaneously, and then consumers choose where to subscribe. In this case, firms provide the best possible service given their infrastructure, but without an explicit guarantee. Using the Nash equilibria of the games played by firms, we compare this competitive model with the model where firms set prices and SLGs, in terms of the resulting prices, service levels, firms' profits, and consumers' surplus.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gérard P. Cachon & Patrick T. Harker, 2002. "Competition and Outsourcing with Scale Economies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1314-1333, October.
- Kut C. So, 2000. "Price and Time Competition for Service Delivery," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 2(4), pages 392-409, April.
- Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
- Joseph Hall & Evan Porteus, 2000. "Customer Service Competition in Capacitated Systems," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 2(2), pages 144-165, November.
- Xiao, Feng & Yang, Hai & Han, Deren, 2007. "Competition and efficiency of private toll roads," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 292-308, March.
- Nolan H. Miller & Amit I. Pazgal, 2006. "Budget or target: the choice between input and output strategies," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 391-415, 06.
- Leonard Cheng, 1985. "Comparing Bertrand and Cournot Equilibria: A Geometric Approach," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 146-152, Spring.
- Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1985. "Profit-maximizing clubs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 25-45, June.
- repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:2:p:391-415 is not listed on IDEAS
- Dastidar, Krishnendu Ghosh, 1995. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Bertrand Equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 19-32, January.
- Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0721. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nicholas Economides)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.