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Does Retailer Power Lead to Exclusion?

Patrick Rey and Michael D. Whinston, The RAND Journal of Economics, 44: 75–81 (2013).

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This paper examines whether retailer bargaining power and upfront slotting allowances prevent small manufacturers (who have no bargaining power) from obtaining adequate distribution. In contrast to the findings of Marx and Shaffer (2007), who showed that all equilibria involve limited distribution (i.e., exclusion of a retailer), we show that there is always an equilibrium in which full distribution is obtained, provided that full distribution is the industry profit-maximizing outcome. The key feature leading to this differing result is that we do not restrict each retailer to offering the manufacturer a single tariff.

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