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Inducing Downstream Selling Effort with Market Share Discounts

By David Mills


Abstract Loyalty discounts and rebates are pricing schemes that offer incentives to buyers for reaching or exceeding certain sales thresholds. In the case of market share discounts, thresholds are expressed as a percentage of the buyer’s total purchase requirements. Although market share discounts may have exclusionary effects under certain circumstances when a seller has significant market power, there are plausible non‐exclusionary reasons for offering them as well. Two such reasons – rent extraction and inducing downstream selling effort – are explored in this paper. The paper considers the case of a manufacturer who sells a differentiated good through a network of heterogeneous, non‐exclusive retailers. The manufacturer offers market share discounts to induce non‐contractible selling effort such as brand‐specific information or customer service from those retailers who possess certain unobservable characteristics. In some instances, market share discounts induce increased selling effort and improve market performance as compared to linear pricing. In other instances, they have no effect on aggregate benefits, but merely shift the rents created by induced selling effort upstream to the manufacturer. In no instance, as long as the producers of substitute goods retain sufficient sales to remain viable, do market share discounts impair market performance.Market Share Discounts, Loyalty Discounts, Exclusionary Behavior, Procompetitive Effects, L11, L41,

DOI identifier: 10.1080/13571516.2010.483082
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