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Do Buyer-Size Discounts Depend on the Curvature of the Surplus Function? Experimental Tests of Bargaining Models

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  • Hans-Theo Normann

    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Bradley J. Ruffle

    (Ben-Gurion University)

  • Christopher M. Sndyer

    (George Washington University)

Abstract

A number of recent theoretical papers have shown that for buyer-size discounts to emerge in a bargaining model, the total surplus function over which parties bargain must have certain nonlinearities. We test the theory in an experimental setting in which a seller bargains with a number of buyers of different sizes. We generate nonlinearities in the surplus function by varying the shape of the seller's cost function. Our results strongly support the theory. As predicted, large-buyer discounts emerge only in the case of increasing marginal cost, corresponding to a concave surplus function.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans-Theo Normann & Bradley J. Ruffle & Christopher M. Sndyer, 2003. "Do Buyer-Size Discounts Depend on the Curvature of the Surplus Function? Experimental Tests of Bargaining Models," Experimental 0308001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0308001
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. van Damme, E.E.C. & Larouche, P. & Müller, W., 2006. "Abuse of a Dominant Position : Cases and Experiments," Discussion Paper 2006-020, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    2. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2012. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," DICE Discussion Papers 74, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    3. Goldberg, Linda & Tille, Cédric, 2013. "A bargaining theory of trade invoicing and pricing," Kiel Working Papers 1839, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Hinloopen, Jeroen & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2014. "Output commitment through product bundling: Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 164-180.
    5. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2006. "Buyer Concentration As A Source Of Countervailing Power: Evidence From Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2006-12, McGill University, Department of Economics.
    6. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2013. "When Do Large Buyers Pay Less? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 108-137, March.
    7. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2005. "Buyer Countervailing Power: A Survey of Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0512, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    8. Lisa Bruttel, 2013. "Is there an Exclusionary Effect of Retroactive Price Reduction Schemes?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-21, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    9. Mikhael Shor, 2008. "An experiment on strategic capacity reduction," Working papers 2012-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    10. Mayumi OjimaAuthor-Name: Junnosuke Shino & Kozo Ueda, "undated". "Buyer-Size Discounts and Inflation Dynamics," Working Papers e71, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    11. Davis, Douglas D. & Wilson, Bart J., 2008. "Strategic buyers, horizontal mergers and synergies: An experimental investigation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 643-661, May.
    12. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2015. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 72-84.
    13. Sara Fisher Ellison & Christopher M. Snyder, 2010. "COUNTERVAILING POWER IN WHOLESALE PHARMACEUTICALS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 32-53, March.
    14. Sebastian J. Goerg & Sebastian Kube & Ro'i Zultan, 2010. "Treating Equals Unequally: Incentives in Teams, Workers' Motivation, and Production Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 747-772, October.
    15. Takayuki Mizuno & Wataru Souma & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2014. "The Structure and Evolution of Buyer-Supplier Networks," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 018, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    16. Dana, James D., 2012. "Buyer groups as strategic commitments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 470-485.
    17. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2014. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," DICE Discussion Papers 74 [rev.], University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    18. Normann, Hans-Theo, 2010. "Experimentelle Ökonomik für die Wettbewerbspolitik," DICE Ordnungspolitische Perspektiven 06, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    buyer-size discounts; large buyer; experimental economics.;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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