Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Multimarket linkages, buyer power, and the productivity puzzle

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Noriaki Matsushim, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University and Laixun Zhao, Research Institute of Economics and Business, Kobe University explore Multimarket linkages, buyer power, and the productivity puzzle

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the relationship between firms' productivity improvement and the volume of exports, and shows that it can be sometimes negative. Specifically, we simultaneously take into account intermediate retailers (i.e., vertically) and multimarket linkages (i.e., horizontally). We find that an improvement of the manufacturing productivity affects the bargained wholesale prices in opposite directions in asymmetric markets, causing retailers to make corresponding changes that look surprising. This result can explain for the empirical "left productivity puzzle" found in Ghemawat et al. (2010). Related to this issue is the relationship between buyer power (caused by a retail merger) and profitability. Contrary to the existing literature, in an extended setup, we find that the merger between the downstream duopolists does not improve their profits if their bargaining power is strong vs. upstream suppliers.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2010/11/multimarket-linkages-buyer-power-and-the-productivity-puzzle-.html

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