Chapter 6: Is Packaging Service Provision or Price Discrimination? 7. Retail Forms and the Provision of Distribution Services
6. Is packaging service provision or price discrimination? In this chapter I analyse a retail business practice that has as an important feature, perhaps as its most important one, the shifting of distribution costs across market boundaries: namely, packaging. This feature of packaging is usually absent from the modern literature on the topic. This literature focuses on the price discrimination aspects of packaging. I will use this introduction to embed the topic of packaging in the broader price discrimination setting to which it belongs, but I will devote most of the rest of the chapter to bring out the consequences of its being a mechanism for providing different levels of distribution services through the shifting of distribution costs across market boundaries. Whenever one observes more than one package of the same item available, one enters the world of commodity bundling. It is, thus, useful to start by relating this type of bundling to the bundling discussed in Chapter 2. There we identified two types of bundling as fundamental characteristics of retail markets: the bundling of distribution services with the items or services explicitly sold at retail, and the bundling of distribution services among themselves. Packaging of items explicitly sold at retail into a small and a large package, for example, can be viewed as a third type of bundling, which the literature refers to as commodity bundling, or it can be viewed in terms of one of the two types of bundling described as fundamental characteristics of retail markets in...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.