Bargaining Ability and Competitive Advantage: Empirical Evidence from Medical Devices

27 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2012 Last revised: 4 Mar 2014

See all articles by Matthew Grennan

Matthew Grennan

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Date Written: September 24, 2013

Abstract

In markets where buyers and suppliers negotiate, supplier costs, buyer willingness-to-pay, and competition determine only a range of potential prices, leaving the final price dependent on other factors (e.g. negotiating skill), which I call bargaining ability. I use a model of buyer demand and buyer-supplier bargaining, combined with detailed data on prices and quantities at the buyer-supplier relationship level, to estimate firm bargaining abilities in the context of the coronary stent industry where different hospitals (buyers) pay different prices for the exact same product from the same supplier. I estimate that: (1) variation in bargaining abilities explains 79% of this price variation, (2) bargaining ability has a large firm-specific component, and (3) changes in the distribution of bargaining abilities over time suggest learning as an important channel influencing bargaining ability.

Suggested Citation

Grennan, Matthew and Grennan, Matthew, Bargaining Ability and Competitive Advantage: Empirical Evidence from Medical Devices (September 24, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2033948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2033948

Matthew Grennan (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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Berkeley, CA 94720
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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