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Timing of investments and third degree price discrimination in intermediate good markets

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  • Li, Youping

Abstract

We study third degree price discrimination in intermediate good markets, in which costs of production for the downstream firms are determined by their investment choices. We focus on the effect of the sequence of firm actions and analyze two models with different timing of investments, before or after the upstream monopolist sets the input prices. When investments are determined after the prices are set, an indirect effect of input prices on the derived demand from downstream firms must be taken into account, due to the change of investment incentives. This causes the upstream firm to possibly charge the more efficient downstream firm a lower price, a result contrasting previous findings. Using linear demand and quadratic investment costs, we show that not only the downstream firms but also the upstream monopolist prefers the sequence of play in the latter model, i.e., it benefits from committing to prices before investments are undertaken. A change of timing from the first model to the second constitutes a strict Pareto improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Youping, 2011. "Timing of investments and third degree price discrimination in intermediate good markets," MPRA Paper 36746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36746
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/36746/1/MPRA_paper_36746.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simon Cowan, 2007. "The welfare effects of third-degree price discrimination with nonlinear demand functions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 419-428, June.
    2. Schmalensee, Richard, 1981. "Output and Welfare Implications of Monopolistic Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 242-247, March.
    3. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, March.
    4. Roman Inderst & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Price discrimination in input markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 1-19.
    5. Schwartz, Marius, 1990. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination and Output: Generalizing a Welfare Result," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1259-1262, December.
    6. Roman Inderst & Greg Shaffer, 2009. "Market power, price discrimination, and allocative efficiency in intermediate-goods markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 658-672.
    7. Yoshihiro Yoshida, 2000. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Output and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 240-246, March.
    8. Malueg, David A, 1993. "Bounding the Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1011-1021, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    price discrimination; intermediate good; investments; timing;

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General

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