Inference on Vertical Contracts between Manufacturers and Retailers Allowing for Nonlinear Pricing and Resale Price Maintenance
A methodology is presented allowing manufacturers and retailers vertical contracting in their pricing strategies on a differentiated product market to be introduced. This contribution allows price-cost margins to be recovered from estimates of demand parameters both under linear pricing models and two part tariffs. Two types of nonlinear pricing relationships, one where resale price maintenance is used with two part tariffs contracts and one where no resale price maintenance is allowed in two part tariff contracts in particular are considered. The methodology then allows different hypotheses on contracting and pricing relationships between manufacturers and retailers in the supermarket industry to be tested using exogenous variables supposed to shift the marginal costs of production and distribution. This method is applied empirically to study the retail market bottled water in France. Our empirical evidence shows that manufacturers and retailers use nonlinear pricing contracts and in particular two part tariff contracts with resale price maintenance. Finally, using the estimation of our structural model, some simulations of counterfactual policy experiments are introduced.
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