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An Equilibrium Theory of Rationing

Author

Listed:
  • Richard J. Gilbert

    (University of California Berkeley)

  • Paul Klemperer

    (Nuffield College University of Oxford)

Abstract

Setting a price that results in rationing may be optimal for a seller whose customers must make a specific investment to be able to use its product. Rationing results in ex-post inefficiency, but the resulting distribution of ex-post surplus can compensate consumers for their transaction-specific investments at a lower cost to the seller's profits than would market-clearing prices. Similarly, it may be optimal for a purchaser to procure some of its requirements from a high-cost "second source" rather than purchase only from the lowest-cost supplier.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard J. Gilbert & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "An Equilibrium Theory of Rationing," Microeconomics 9907005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:9907005
    Note: Type of Document - Word/PDF; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX/UNIX Sparc TeX; to print on HP/PostScript; pages: 34 ; figures: included. We never published this piece and now we would like to reduce our mailing and xerox cost by posting it.
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1977. "Is the Price System or Rationing More Effective in Getting a Commodity to Those Who Need It Most?," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 517-524, Autumn.
    2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "Inflexible Prices and Procyclical Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 851-874.
    3. Margaret E. Slade, 1991. "Strategic Pricing with Customer Rationing: The Case of Primary Metals," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 70-100, February.
    4. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    5. Png, I P L, 1991. "Most-Favored-Customer Protection versus Price Discrimination over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1010-1028, October.
    6. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
    7. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-1277, November.
    8. Stole, Lars A., 1994. "Information expropriation and moral hazard in optimal second-source auctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 463-484, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boone, J., 2003. "Optimal competition : A benchmark for competition policy," Discussion Paper 2003-010, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    2. Jürgen Bierbaum & Veronika Grimm, 2006. "Selling shares to retail investors: auction vs. fixed price," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 10(2), pages 85-112, August.
    3. repec:oup:jcomle:v:3:y:2007:i:1:p:1-47. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 74-96, March.
    5. Boone, Jan, 2002. "'Be Nice, Unless it Pays to Fight': A New Theory of Price Determination with Implications for Competition Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3342, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1998. "The Tobacco Deal," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1998 Micr), pages 323-394.
    7. Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2003. "A Market for Time: Fairness and Efficiency in Waiting Lines," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    8. Klemperer, Paul, 2000. "Why every Economist should Learn some Auction Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 2572, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Man Yu & Hyun-Soo Ahn & Roman Kapuscinski, 2015. "Rationing Capacity in Advance Selling to Signal Quality," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(3), pages 560-577, March.
    10. Kwang-Sook Huh, 2008. "Strategic Price Decision Inducing Consumer Rationing: Theory and Evidence," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 24, pages 233-257.
    11. Laurent Lamy & Philippe Jehiel, 2016. "On the benefits of set-asides," Post-Print hal-01688237, HAL.
    12. Liu, Xuyuan & Lu, Jingfeng, 2017. "Optimal prize-rationing strategy in all-pay contests with incomplete information," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 57-90.
    13. Greve,T. & Pollitt, M. G., 2012. "Designing electiricty transmission auctions: an introduction to the relevant literature," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1245, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Peck, James, 1996. "Competition in Transactions Mechanisms: The Emergence of Price Competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 109-123, September.
    15. Henk Folmer & Auke Leen, 2013. "Why do successful restaurants not raise their prices?," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 81-90, July.
    16. Michael J. Dueker & Daniel L. Thornton, 1997. "Do bank loan rates exhibit a countercyclical mark-up?," Working Papers 1997-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    17. Courty, Pascal, 2011. "Unpriced quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 13-15, April.
    18. Paul Klemperer, 2007. "Bidding Markets," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-47.
    19. Hyytinen, Ari & Väänänen, Lotta, 2004. "Could Mr. and Mrs. Capital Market Imperfection Please Step Forward? An Empirical Analysis of Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard in Capital Markets," Discussion Papers 887, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    20. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
    21. Simon Stevenson & James Young, 2015. "The Role of Undisclosed Reserves in English Open Outcry Auctions," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 375-402, June.
    22. Steven M. Shugan, 2002. "Editorial: Marketing Science, Models, Monopoly Models, and Why We Need Them," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(3), pages 223-228.
    23. Dold, Malte & Khadjavi, Menusch, 2017. "Jumping the queue: An experiment on procedural preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 127-137.
    24. Michael J. Dueker, 2000. "Are prime rate changes asymmetric?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 33-40.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    rationing sunk costs;

    JEL classification:

    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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