Business Intelligence

A Larger Slice Or A Larger Pie? An Empirical Investigation Of Bargaining Power In The Distribution Channel

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Executive Summary

This paper aims to provide insights into the determinants of channel profitability and the relative power in the channel by considering consumer demand and the interactions between manufacturers and retailers in an equilibrium model. The authors use the Nash bargaining solution to determine wholesale prices and thus how margins are split in the channel. Equilibrium margins are a function of demand primitives and of retailer and manufacturer bargaining power. Bargaining power is itself a function of exogenous retail and manufacturer characteristics. The parties' bargaining positions are determined endogenously from the estimated substitution patterns on the demand side. The more they have to lose in a negotiation relative to an outside option, the weaker the bargaining position.

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