An Equilibrium Theory of Rationing
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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
- 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 1010-28, October.
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