By P.M. Holmes
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Extra resources for Industrial Pricing Behaviour and Devaluation
A pure administered-price firm would be one for which the most important explanatory variable affecting price changes was the need to cover discretionary outgoings such as investment costs or dividends. The first group of firms to be considered together are producers of specialised industrial machinery, all with a high world market share, and with a policy of not discriminating in price significantly on direct sales from the UK firm to foreign customers, prices being set in sterling. Other groups that can be classed together are suppliers of products to the automotive industry, and a pair of actually competing firms that operated quite independently.
The two subcases that are distinguished are the pure cost-plus pricing firm, and the pure administered-price firm. The difference between these is as follows. The cost-plus firm uses a formula relating the price of each product to its own cost, regardless of the state of market demand over the range of market demand conditions commonly encountered, while the administered-price firm may ignore the costs of individual products as well as the strength of demand. In practice no such distinction will be entirely sharp.
It was convenient that a number of firms actually competing in related markets displayed similar behaviour. This was not always so however, and the machinery producers, for example, have been divided up. 34 Industrial Pricing Behaviour and Devaluation At the same time as classifying the general posture of the firm in the market-place an attempt has been made where possible to categorise the actual decisions as competitive or non-competitive. There were some firms that indicated a general inclination to engage in or avoid the use of price flexibility to influence demand but which nonetheless reported differences in individual instances.