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Competition in Posted Prices With Bargaining


  • David Gill
  • John Thanassoulis


In this paper we study price competition between firms when some consumers attempt tobargain while others buy at the public list or posted prices. Even though bargainers succeed innegotiating discounts off the list prices, their presence dampens competitive pressure in the marketby reducing the incentive to undercut a rival’s list price, thus raising all prices and increasingprofits. Welfare falls because of the uncertainty in the bargaining process, which generates somemisallocation of products to consumers. We also find that the bargainers facilitate collusion byreducing the market share that can be gained from a deviation.

Suggested Citation

  • David Gill & John Thanassoulis, 2013. "Competition in Posted Prices With Bargaining," Economics Series Working Papers 639, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:639

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Spector, David, 2007. "Bundling, tying, and collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 575-581, June.
    2. Wang, Ruqu, 1995. "Bargaining versus posted-price selling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1747-1764, December.
    3. Arnold, Michael A & Lippman, Steven A, 1998. "Posted Prices versus Bargaining in Markets with Asymmetric Information," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 450-457, July.
    4. Chen, Yongmin & Rosenthal, Robert W, 1996. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 129-155, February.
    5. Gabriele Camera & Cemil Selcuk, 2009. "Price Dispersion with Directed Search," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1193-1224, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Herold, 2017. "The Impact of Incentive Pay on Corporate Crime," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201752, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Tamás Briglevics & Oz Shy, 2014. "Why Don’t Most Merchants Use Price Discounts to Steer Consumer Payment Choice?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(4), pages 367-392, June.

    More about this item


    Posted prices; list prices; collusion; bargaining; negotiation; haggling; discounts; outside option; price takers; Hotelling line;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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