Storability, market structure, and demand-shift incentives
We consider a two-period model in which buyers can store a good by purchasing in advance of consumption so as to realize potential gains from intertemporal arbitrage. We find that storability introduces a kink in the aggregate period-1 demand. When supply is oligopolistic (quantity setting) and consumers are sufficiently patient (storage cost is relatively low), each firm has a strong current incentive to capture future market share from a rival. As a result, in equilibrium, the price path is increasing and there is rational in-advance purchase by buyers. In contrast, the monopoly and perfectly competitive markets exhibit no such price dynamics. Intermediate storage costs result in multiple equilibria, with at least one that involves advance purchase and one that does not. Copyright © 2005, RAND.
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