Özlem Bedre-Defolie



Contracts as a barrier to entry in markets with non-pivotal buyers

American Economic Review
Özlem Bedre-Defolie, Gary Biglaiser
Economics, politics and business environment
Keyword(s): Long-term contracts, breakup fees, foreclosure
JEL Code(s): D21, D86, L13

Considering markets with non-pivotal buyers we analyze the anti-competitive effects of breakup fees used by an incumbent facing a more efficient entrant in the future. Buyers differ in their intrinsic switching costs. Breakup fees are profitably used to foreclose entry, regardless of the entrant's efficiency advantage or level of switching costs. Banning breakup fees is beneficial to consumers. The ban enhances the total welfare unless the entrant's efficiency is close to the incumbent's. Inefficient foreclosure arises not because of rent shifting from the entrant, but because the incumbent uses a long-term contract to manipulate consumers' expected surplus from not signing it.


LeChatelier-Samuelson principle in games and pass-through of shocks

Journal of Economic Theory 168(March): 44–54
Alexei Alexandrov, Özlem Bedre-Defolie (2017)
Economics, politics and business environment
Keyword(s): LeChatelier principle, cost passthrough, multiproduct oligopoly
JEL Code(s): C72, D43, D11

The LeChatelier-Samuelson principle states that, as a reaction to a shock, an agent's short-run adjustment of an affected action is smaller than its long-run adjustment (when the agent can also adjust other related actions). We extend the principle to strategic environments where the long-run adjustment also accounts for other players adjusting their strategies. We show that the principle holds for supermodular games (strategic complements) satisfying monotone comparative statics and provide sufficient conditions for the principle to hold in games of strategic substitutes/heterogeneity. We discuss the principle's implications for cost pass-through of multiproduct firms.


The equivalence of bundling and advance sales

Marketing Science 33(2): 259–272
Alexei Alexandrov, Özlem Bedre-Defolie (2014)
Economics, politics and business environment
Keyword(s): Advance selling, bundling, price discrimination
JEL Code(s): L11, D42

We show that a monopolist's problem of optimal advance selling strategy can be mathematically transformed into a problem of optimal bundling strategy if four conditions hold: i. consumers and the firm agree on the probability of the states occurring, ii. the firm pre-commits to the spot prices to be charged in the advance selling stage, iii. consumers are risk-neutral, and iv. consumers and the firm do not have time preferences or when they do have time preferences, they discount future at the same rate. The result allows both researchers and practitioners to apply the insights from the well-developed vast literature on bundling to advance selling problems. In particular, we show that advance selling is more profitable than spot selling when consumer valuations across the states are independent or negatively dependent or positively dependent up to a point. We furthermore illustrate the effect of advance selling on the spot prices and consumer welfare: When the firm offers advance selling discounts, it sets higher spot prices, so consumers who do not buy in advance are worse off due to the firm offering advance selling discounts. We extend our analysis to the cases of more than two states and competition only in one of the states. We also show how advance selling can be used as an entry deterrence strategy.

© 2014 INFORMS


Pricing payment cards

American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 5(3): 206–231
Özlem Bedre-Defolie, Emilio Calvano (2013)
Economics, politics and business environment
Keyword(s): payment card networks, interchange fees, merchant fees
JEL Code(s): G21, L11, L42, L31, L51, K21

Payment card networks, such as Visa, require merchants' banks to pay substantial "interchange" fees to cardholders' banks, on a per transaction basis. This paper shows that a network's profit-maximizing fee induces an inefficient price structure, over-subsidizing card usage and over-taxing merchants. In contrast to the literature we show that this distortion is systematic and arises from the fact that consumers make two distinct decisions (membership and usage) whereas merchants make only one (membership). These findings are robust to competition for cardholders and/or for merchants, network competition, and strategic card acceptance to attract consumers.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Economic Association.


Vertical coordination through renegotiation

International Journal of Industrial Organization 30(6): 553–563
Economics, politics and business environment
Keyword(s): vertical contracts, rent shifting, renegotiation, buyer power

This paper analyzes the strategic use of bilateral supply contracts in sequential negotiations between one manufacturer and two differentiated retailers. The first main result is that, despite the feasibility of general supply contracts which are functions of own quantity (but cannot be contingent on the rival's quantity), the first contracting parties have incentives to manipulate their contract to shift rent from the second contracting retailer and these incentives distort the industry profit away from the fully-integrated monopoly outcome. The second main result is that if the contract terms between the manufacturer and the first retailer can be renegotiated from scratch in the event that the second retailer has no agreement, then the monopoly outcome can be achieved, often with full rent extraction from the second retailer. Moreover, there are conditions under which renegotiation from scratch yields higher joint profit for the firstly contracting parties than no renegotiation. These results do not depend on the type of retail competition, the level of differentiation between the retailers, the order of sequential negotiations, the level of asymmetry between the retailers in terms of their bargaining power vis-à-vis the manufacturer, or their profitability from being the monopoly retailer.

With permission of Elsevier