P. 1
Are prices higher under an agency model than a wholesale pricing model?

Are prices higher under an agency model than a wholesale pricing model?

|Views: 160|Likes:
Published by Joshua Gans
A note comparing agency and wholesale pricing.
A note comparing agency and wholesale pricing.

More info:

Published by: Joshua Gans on Mar 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/31/2012

pdf

text

original

Are prices higher under an agency model than a wholesale pricing model?

by Joshua Gans
31st March 2012 This is the question floating around with regard to the DOJ’s investigation into eBook pricing. Given the discussion I figured that I would just write down a simple model to explore the issue. This model is based on Gans (2012). Suppose that the (inverse) demand for an eBook is given by P = a - Q where P is the price consumers pay for an eBook and Q is the quantity they purchase. eBooks are assumed to cost nothing to distribute to consumers who have devices. Gans (2012) explores the consumer’s choice to purchase a device as well but this will not be considered here. MODEL 1: Wholesale Pricing Suppose that a book publisher charges a price of p to a retailer. Then, based on this, the retailer sets a price to consumers of P and earns (P - p)(a - P). In this case, the retailer’s optimal price is: P* = (a + p)/2 Given this, the publisher’s demand is Q = a - P* or Q = (a-p)/2. The publisher chooses p to maximize its profits of pQ which results in a price of p* = a/2. This implies that the final equilibrium price under the wholesale pricing model is: P* = 3a/4 MODEL 2: Agency Under an agency model, the publisher sets P directly while the retailer receives a share, s, of revenues generated. The publisher, thus, chooses P to maximize its profits of (1-s)PQ. This generates an optimal price of: P* = a/2 Conclusion Regardless of s, the price under the agency model is lower than the price under a wholesale pricing model. The reason is that the agency model avoids double marginalization. The comment here does not reflect other effects arising from ‘most favored customer’ clauses that can apply in both wholesale pricing and agency models and are discussed further in Gans (2012). References Gans, Joshua S. (2012), “Mobile Application Pricing,” Information Economics and Policy, 24(1): 52-59; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infoecopol.2012.01.006

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->