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A Model of Biased Intermediation

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  • Cornière (de), Alexandre
  • Taylor, Greg

Abstract

This paper studies situations in which some consumers rely on a potentially biased intermediary to choose among downstream firms. We introduce the notion that firms' and consumers' payoffs can be congruent or conflicting, and show that this has important implications for the effects of bias. Under congruence, the firm towards which the intermediary is biased invests more than its rival and consumers can be better-off than under no bias. Under conflict, bias hurts consumers and the favored firm charges higher prices. We study various oft-proposed policies for dealing with a biased intermediary and show that the efficacy of each intervention depends strongly on whether the environment exhibits congruence or conflict. We discuss how the model relates to recent issues in online markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornière (de), Alexandre & Taylor, Greg, 2017. "A Model of Biased Intermediation," TSE Working Papers 17-753, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:31324
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alexandre Cornière & Greg Taylor, 2014. "Integration and search engine bias," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(3), pages 576-597, September.
    2. Jay Pil Choi & Byung-Cheol Kim, 2010. "Net neutrality and investment incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 446-471.
    3. Choi, Jay Pil & Stefanadis, Christodoulos, 2001. "Tying, Investment, and the Dynamic Leverage Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 52-71, Spring.
    4. Dennis W. Carlton & Michael Waldman, 2002. "The Strategic Use of Tying to Preserve and Create Market Power in Evolving Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 194-220, Summer.
    5. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    6. Buehler, Benno & Schuett, Florian, 2014. "Certification and minimum quality standards when some consumers are uninformed," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 493-511.
    7. Chrysanthos Dellarocas & Zsolt Katona & William Rand, 2013. "Media, Aggregators, and the Link Economy: Strategic Hyperlink Formation in Content Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(10), pages 2360-2379, October.
    8. Carbajo, Jose & de Meza, David & Seidmann, Daniel J, 1990. "A Strategic Motivation for Commodity Bundling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 283-298, March.
    9. Chrysanthos Dellarocas & Zsolt Katona & William Rand, 2010. "Media, Aggregators and the Link Economy: Strategic Hyperlink Formation in Content Networks," Working Papers 10-13, NET Institute.
    10. Strausz, Roland, 2005. "Honest certification and the threat of capture," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 45-62, February.
    11. Eloïc Peyrache & Lucía Quesada, 2011. "Intermediaries, Credibility and Incentives to Collude," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 1099-1133, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intermediary; bias; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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