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Buyer Alliances as Countervailing Power in WIC Infant-Formula Auctions

  • Davis, David E.

    ()

    (Department of Economics,South Dakota State University)

US government agencies in WIC infant-formula procurement auctions receive lower bids and final prices when they are in buyer’s alliances than when they are unallied. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) uses an auction to procure infant formula. Manufacturers bid on the right to be an agency’s sole supplier by offering a rebate on formula sold through WIC. This paper investigates whether bidders are more aggressive when buyers band together to jointly offer infant formula contracts. Results suggest that WIC agencies that band together to form an alliance receive stronger bids.

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File URL: http://repec-sda.sdstate.edu/repec/sda/pdf/CountevailingPower.pdf
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File URL: http://repec-sda.sdstate.edu/repec/sda/pdf/14_5_28_a_3rdRevise_BiddingforSole-SourceContracts.pdf
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Paper provided by South Dakota State University, Department of Economics in its series SDSU Working Papers in Progress with number 12011.

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Length: pages 24 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sda:workpa:12011
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Web page: http://www.sdstate.edu/econ/

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  1. Suchan Chae & Paul Heidhues, 2004. "Buyers' Alliances for Bargaining Power," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 731-754, December.
  2. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth & Smallwood, David M., 2011. "The Infant Formula Market: Consequences of a Change in the WIC Contract Brand," Economic Research Report 118020, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Tasneem Chipty & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "The Role Of Firm Size In Bilateral Bargaining: A Study Of The Cable Television Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 326-340, May.
  4. Snyder, Christopher M., 1998. "Why do larger buyers pay lower prices? Intense supplier competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 205-209, February.
  5. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  7. John Crespi & Richard Sexton, 2005. "A Multinomial Logit Framework to Estimate Bid Shading in Procurement Auctions: Application to Cattle Sales in the Texas Panhandle," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 253-278, November.
  8. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1983. "Bundling Decisions by a Multiproduct Monopolist with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 463-83, March.
  9. David E. Davis, 2009. "Bidding for WIC infant formula contracts: Do non-WIC customers subsidize WIC customers?," SDSU Working Papers in Progress 52009, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
  10. Rui Huang & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2009. "WIC Contract Spillover Effects," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 118, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  11. Christopher M. Snyder, 1996. "A Dynamic Theory of Countervailing Power," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 747-769, Winter.
  12. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth & Smallwood, David M., 2010. "Rising Infant Formula Costs to the WIC Program: Recent Trends in Rebates and Wholesale Prices," Economic Research Report 59384, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  13. Roman Inderst & Christian Wey, 2003. "Buyer Power and Supplier Incentives," CIG Working Papers SP II 2003-05, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  14. Dana, James D., 2012. "Buyer groups as strategic commitments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 470-485.
  15. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, December.
  16. Cameron, A. Colin & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Miller, Douglas L., 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249.
  17. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan & Michael D. Whinston, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-383.
  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. Oliveira, Victor & Prell, Mark A. & Smallwood, David M. & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2004. "Wic And The Retail Price Of Infant Formula," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33873, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  20. Oliveira, Victor & Davis, David E., 2006. "Recent Trends and Economic Issues in the WIC Infant Formula Rebate Program," Economic Research Report 7228, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  21. Chipty, Tasneem, 1995. "Horizontal Integration for Bargaining Power: Evidence from the Cable Television Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 375-97, Summer.
  22. Horn, H. & Wolinsky, A., 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies And Incentives For Merger," Papers 410, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  23. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  24. Leonardo Rezende, 2008. "Econometrics of auctions by least squares," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 925-948.
  25. Davis, David E. & Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2005. "Interstate Variation In Wic Food Package Costs: The Role Of Food Prices, Caseload Composition, And Cost-Containment Practices," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33811, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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