Diana M. Burton, H. Alan Love, Gokhan Ozertan and Curtis R. Taylor
Protection of intellectual property embedded in self-replicating biological innovations, such as genetically modified seed, presents two problems for the innovator: the need for copy protection of intellectual property and price competition between new seed and reproduced seed. We consider three regimes in two periods with asymmetric information: short-term contracts, biotechnological protection, and long-term contracts. We find that piracy imposes more intense competition for seed sales than does durability alone. Technology protection systems yield highest firm profit and long-term contracts outperform short-term contracts. Farmers prefer, in order, long-term, short-term, and biotechnical protection. Depending on monitoring cost, long-term contracts may be socially preferred to short-term contracts, with both preferred to biotechnical protection.
Philippe Février, William Roos and Michael Visser
This paper studies multi-unit ascending (English) auctions with a buyer's option. The buyer's option gives the winner of an auction the right to purchase any number of units at the winning price. We develop a theoretical model and derive the optimal strategies for the bidders. The model predicts various behavioral implications (e.g., the winner never exercises the option, the price declines…) that are tested using a unique data set on wine auctions held at the Paris-based auction house Drouot. We also analyze why the buyer's option is used. Estimating the model in a structural econometric way, and using counterfactual comparisons, we find that the buyer's option does not affect the seller's revenue (relative to a system where the units are auctioned sequentially without the option). Drouot, however, saves a lot of time with the option and this effect represents a considerable amount of money. The time-saving effect seems thus to be the primary purpose of the buyer's option.
Porametr Leegomonchai and Tomislav Vukina
The objective of this paper is to test whether broiler processors, after observing their contract growers' abilities in the sequences of repeated short-term contracts, strategically allocate production inputs of varying quality. The strategy can either consist of providing high-ability agents with high-quality inputs or providing low-ability agents with high-quality inputs. The first strategy would stimulate the career concerns type of response on the part of the growers, whereas the second strategy would generate a ratchet effect. We test these hypotheses by using the broiler contract production data. The results show no significant input discrimination based on grower abilities that would lead to either career concerns or ratchet effect type of dynamic incentives.
I simulate the competitive impact of several soft drink mergers from the 1980s on equilibrium prices and quantities. An unusual feature of soft drink demand is that, at the individual purchase level, households regularly select a variety of soft drink products. Specifically, on a given trip households may select multiple soft drink products and multiple units of each. A concern is that using a standard discrete choice model that assumes single unit purchases may understate the price elasticity of demand. To model the sophisticated choice behavior generating this multiple discreteness, I use a household-level scanner data set. Market demand is then computed by aggregating the household estimates. Combining the aggregate demand estimates with a model of static oligopoly, I then run the merger simulations. Despite moderate price increases, I find substantial welfare losses from the proposed merger between Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper. I also find large price increases and corresponding welfare losses from the proposed merger between Pepsi and 7 UP and, more notably, between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Tirtha Dhar, Jean-Paul Chavas, Ronald W. Cotterill and Brian W. Gould
We investigate market structure and strategic pricing for leading brands sold by Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo. in the context of a flexible demand specification (i.e., nonlinear AIDS) and structural price equations. Our flexible and generalized approach does not rely upon the often used ad hoc linear approximations to demand and profit-maximizing first-order conditions, and the assumption of Nash-Bertrand competition. We estimate a conjectural variation model and test for different brand-level pure strategy games. This approach of modeling market competition using the nonlinear Full Information Maximum Likelihood (FIML) estimation method provides insights into the nature of imperfect competition and the extent of market power. We find no support for a Nash-Bertrand or Stackelberg Leadership equilibrium in the brand-level pricing game. Results also provide insights into the unique positioning of PepsiCo.'s Mountain Dew brand.
Many international master franchising contracts include “development commitments,” clauses specifying a number of units that master franchisees must develop in exchange for exclusive rights to an assigned market, typically their entire home nation. I analyze 142 contracts with development commitments signed by US fast food franchisors and their master franchisees. Several empirical regularities emerge from the analysis: First, the development commitments are large and rarely completely fulfilled. Second, a robust negative relationship exists between survival and development commitment size. Further, ventures with larger commitments exhibit a lower level of investment still productive at the end of the development period. Various explanations for these regularities are considered.