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The Strategic Value of Incomplete Contracting in a Competing Hierarchies Environment

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Abstract

We explore the strategic value of quantity forcing contracts in a competing manufacturer-retailer hierarchies environment under both adverse selection and moral hazard. Manufacturers dealing with (exclusive) competing retailers may prefer to leave contracts silent on retail prices, whenever other aspects of the retailers’ activity remain nonveri.able. Two effects are at play once one moves from retail price maintenance to quantity forcing. First, restricting the number of screening instruments available to manufacturers has a detrimental effect on their pro.ts as it leaves more possibilities to retailer for getting information rents. Second, such restriction may provide manufacturers with strategic power in that it affects downstream competition. Under some conditions related to the severity of the adverse selection problem and the nature of externalities across retailers, the latter effect may rationalize the use of quantity forcing contracts in a game of competing hierarchies. RPM may be either detrimental or bene.cial to welfare depending upon the type of non-market externalities that retailers impose on each other.

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  • Salvatore Piccolo & David Martimort, 2006. "The Strategic Value of Incomplete Contracting in a Competing Hierarchies Environment," CSEF Working Papers 160, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 08 Dec 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:160
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean Tirole, 2009. "Cognition and Incomplete Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 265-294, March.
    2. Dessí, Roberta, 2009. "Contractual Execution, Strategic Incompleteness and Venture Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 7413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. David Martimort & Salvatore Piccolo, 2010. "The Strategic Value of Quantity Forcing Contracts," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 204-229, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric Information; Competing Hierarchies; Incomplete Contracts; Quantity Forcing; Resale Price Maintenance; Vertical Contracting;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law

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