Dynamic Pricing Under Debt: Spiraling Distortions and Efficiency Losses
77 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016 Last revised: 24 May 2017
Date Written: February 26, 2017
Firms often finance their inventory through debt and subsequently sell it to generate profits and service the debt. Pricing of products is consequently driven by both inventory and debt servicing considerations. We show that limited liability under debt induces sellers to charge higher prices and to discount products at a lower pace. We find that these distortions result in revenue losses that compound over time, leading to some form of performance spiral down. We quantify the extent to which these inefficiencies can be mitigated by practical debt contract terms that emerge as natural remedies from our analysis, and find debt amortization or financial covenants to be the most effective, followed by debt relief and early repayment options.
Keywords: dynamic pricing, debt, pricing distortions, channel efficiency, firm value, spiral-down
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