Three essays on prices and selection

Sticher, Silvio (2014). Three essays on prices and selection. (Dissertation, Universität Bern, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät)

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Competitive Market Segmentation

In a two-firm model where each firm sells a high-quality and a low-quality version of a product, customers differ with respect to their brand preferences and their attitudes towards quality. We show that the standard result of quality-independent markups crucially depends on the assumption that the customers' valuation of quality is identical across firms. Once we relax this assumption, competition across qualities leads to second-degree price discrimination. We find that markups on low-quality products are higher if consuming a low-quality product involves a firm-specific disutility. Likewise, markups on high-quality products are higher if consuming a high-quality product creates a firm-specific surplus.

Selection upon Wage Posting
We discuss a model of a job market where firms announce salaries. Thereupon, they decide through the evaluation of a productivity test whether to hire applicants. Candidates for a job are locked in once they have applied at a given employer. Hence, such a market exhibits a specific form of the bargain-then-ripoff principle. With a single firm, the outcome is efficient. Under competition, what might be called "positive selection" leads to market failure. Thus our model provides a rationale for very small employment probabilities in some sectors.

Exclusivity Clauses: Enhancing Competition, Raising Prices
In a setting where retailers and suppliers compete for each other by offering binding contracts, exclusivity clauses serve as a competitive device. As a result of these clauses, firms addressed by contracts only accept the most favorable deal. Thus the contract-issuing parties have to squeeze their final customers and transfer the surplus within the vertical supply chain. We elaborate to what extent the resulting allocation depends on the sequence of play and discuss the implications of a ban on exclusivity clauses.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Sticher, Silvio and Emons, Winand


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Igor Peter Hammer

Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2014 10:55

Last Modified:

21 Dec 2014 07:35



Additional Information:

JEL codes: D43, L13, L15 / D83, J21, J31 / D86, L13, L42

Uncontrolled Keywords:

price differentiation, vertical competition, directed search, selection, wage posting, exclusive dealing, exclusive provision




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