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Selling Through Referrals

Author

Listed:
  • Daniele Condorelli
  • Andrea Galeotti
  • Vasiliki Skreta

Abstract

We endogenize intermediaries' choice to operate as agents or merchants in a market where there are frictions due to asymmetric information about consumption values. A seller has an object for sale and can reach buyers only through intermediaries. Intermediaries can either mediate the transaction by buying and reselling - the merchant mode - or refer buyers to the seller for a fee - the agency mode. When the seller can condition the minimum selling price to the intermediaries' business model choice, all intermediaries specialize in agency. The seller's and intermediaries' joint profits equal the seller's profits when he has access to all buyers. When the seller's trading protocol does not depend on the business mode adopted by intermediaries, hybrid agency-merchant mode are adopted in equilibrium. Banning the agency mode can decrease welfare since the merchant mode is associated with additional allocative distortions due to asymmetric information compared to agency.
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Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Condorelli & Andrea Galeotti & Vasiliki Skreta, 2013. "Selling Through Referrals," Working Papers 13-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:13-06
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    File URL: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/docs/workingpapers/2013/Skreta_Referrals_May2013.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gaudin, Germain & White, Alexander, 2014. "On the antitrust economics of the electronic books industry," DICE Discussion Papers 147, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    2. Babur De los Santos & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2017. "E-book pricing and vertical restraints," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 85-122, June.
    3. Maximilian Maurice Gail & Phil-Adrian Klotz, 2021. "The Impact of the Agency Model on E-book Prices: Evidence from the UK," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202111, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Liang Lu, 2017. "A Comparison of the Wholesale Model and the Agency Model in Differentiated Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 51(2), pages 151-172, September.
    5. Liang Lu, 2015. "A Comparison of the Wholesale Structure and the Agency Structure in Differentiated Markets," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) 2015-07v2, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    6. Priazhkina, Sofia & Page, Frank H., 2018. "Sharing market access in buyer–seller networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 415-446.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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