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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: We study three corporate nonmarket strategies designed to influence the lobbying behavior of other special interest groups: (1) astroturf, in which the firm covertly subsidizes a group with similar views to lobby when it normally would not; (2) the bear hug, in which the firm overtly pays a group to alter its lobbying activities; and (3) self-regulation, in which the firm voluntarily limits the potential social harm from its activities. All three strategies reduce the informativeness of lobbying, and all reduce the payoff of the public decision-maker. We show that the decision-maker would benefit by requiring the public disclosure of funds spent on astroturf lobbying but that the availability of alternative influence strategies limits the impact of such a policy.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: Most of the existing empirical literature on franchising investigates the share of company-owned versus franchised establishments within large retail firms. This literature typically has not considered the decision of a business owner to operate an independent business or to become a franchisee. This paper empirically analyzes what determines whether independent ownership or affiliation is observed, using data on the affiliation status of 2,293 motel establishments located throughout the United States. Heterogeneity in the underlying economic environment helps explain affiliation choices at the establishment level. The results also suggest that failure to consider independent establishments may explain the puzzling negative correlation between risk and vertical integration commonly found in the empirical franchising literature.
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: We posit that the value of a manager's human capital depends on the firm's business strategy. The resulting interaction between business strategy and managerial incentives affects the organization of business activities. We illustrate the impact of this interaction on firm boundaries in a dynamic agency model. There may be disadvantages in merging two firms even when such a merger allows the internalization of externalities between the two firms. Merging, by making unprofitable certain decisions, increases the cost of inducing managerial effort. This incentive cost is a natural consequence of the manager's business-strategy-specific human capital.
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  • 4
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: We show that the presence of sufficiently significant switching costs, which are increasing in the degree of product differentiation, generates an equilibrium configuration with maximal differentiation within the framework of a Hotelling model with linear transportation costs. The equilibrium with maximal differentiation offers a formalization of the idea that competing firms have noncooperative incentives to establish maximal switching cost barriers. The equilibrium incentives for commitments to high switching costs can be explained with poaching profits, which are increasing in the switching costs. Ex ante competition for market shares in period 1 is unable to eliminate these poaching profits.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: We analyze competition between two private television channels that derive their profits from advertising receipts. These profits are shown to be proportional to total population advertising attendance. The channels play a sequential game in which they first select their profiles (program mixes) and then their advertising ratios. We show that these ratios play the same role as prices in usual horizontal differentiation models. We prove that whenever ads' interruptions are costly for viewers the program mixes of the channels never converge but that the niche strategies are less effective and that the channel “profiles” are closer as advertising aversion becomes stronger.
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  • 6
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: We provide a novel explanation as to why forming an alliance of buyers (or sellers) across separate markets can be advantageous when input prices are determined by bargaining. Our explanation helps to understand the prevalence of buyer cooperatives among small and medium-sized firms.
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  • 7
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: Recent developments in information technology (IT) have resulted in the collection of a vast amount of customer-specific data. As IT advances, the quality of such information improves. We analyze a unifying spatial price discrimination model that encompasses the two most studied paradigms of two-group and perfect discrimination as special cases. Firms use the available information to classify the consumers into different groups. The number of identifiable consumer segments increases with the information quality. Among our findings (1) when the information quality is low, unilateral commitments not to price discriminate arise in equilibrium; (2) after a unique threshold of information precision such a commitment is a dominated strategy, and the game becomes a prisoners' dilemma; and (3) equilibrium profits exhibit a U-shaped relationship with the information quality.
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  • 8
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: In the context of (one-sided) delegated bargaining, we analyze how a principal (a seller) should design the delegation contract in order to provide proper incentives for her delegate (an intermediary) and gain strategic advantage against a third party (a buyer). We consider situations in which there are both moral hazard and adverse selection problems in the delegation relationship and where the seller tries to gain strategic advantage by imposing a minimum price above which she pays the delegate a commission. It is shown that incentives and commitment are substitutes. A low-type agent is given less discretion in dealing with the buyer and weaker incentives, while a high-type agent is given more discretion and stronger incentives.
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  • 9
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: This paper sutudies the role of debt in committing a seller not to trade at a low price. We consider a discrete-time finite-horizon buyer–seller relationship. The seller makes an upfront relationship-specific investment, which is financed with debt. Debt then is repaid gradually to mitigate the hold-up risk. Even though debt is renegotiable, under the assumption that with a small probability renegotiation may fail and may lead to inefficient liquidation, debt still can be used as a commitment device. We solve for renegotiation proof dynamic debt contracts that are optimal for the seller and show that debt is repaid over the entire course of the relationship with declining repayments.
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  • 10
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    350 Main Street , Malden , MA 02148 , USA , and PO Box 1354, 9600 Garsington Road , Oxford OX4 2XG , UK . : Blackwell Publishing
    ISSN: 1530-9134
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Economics
    Notes: Existing models of the principal–agent relationship assume the agent works only under extrinsic incentives. However, many observed agency contracts take the form of a fixed payment. For such contracts to work, the principal must trust the agent to work in the absence of incentives. I show that agency fosters the advent of intrinsic motivation and trustworthy behavior. Three distinct motivational schemes are analyzed: norms, ethical standards, and altruism. I identify conditions under which these mechanisms arise and show how they promote trust. The analysis alters several important predictions of conventional models: (1) Better outcomes may ensue in highly uncertain environments; (2) the principal is better off the more the agent is risk averse; and (3) larger equilibrium extrinsic incentives need not be associated with larger effort or larger total surplus.
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