Export Prices and Export Cartels (Webb-Pomerene Associations)

By Milton Gilbert; Paul D. Dickens | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V

COMPARISON OF EXPORT AND DOMESTIC PRICE POLICIES

In this chapter will be presented a summary of the price policies and comparative profitability of domestic and export sales for the 76 business enterprises covered by the field study. This summarization is necessarily an oversimplification of the facts since there are peculiarities in the selling practices of every business organization which in one way or another make it an individual case. The cases are classified into three main groups and subclassified into various types, according to the predominant characteristic of the export price policy. In this way, the pledge not to disclose, the identity of any business organization which supplied this information is not violated as it would be if complete descriptions of products and practices were given case by case. Such a classification of the cases based upon the dominant characteristic of the price policy, which, so to speak, stressed the rationale of the price policy, reduces the data to manageable form and more clearly reveals the essential facts.

The primary classification of the 76 cases has been made on the basis of the comparison of domestic and export prices as defined in chapter IV. Thus, the cases fall into three groups--those with export prices higher than domestic prices, export prices equal to domestic prices, and export prices lower than domestic prices. The cases are further subdivided into 13 types, according to the dominant feature of the price policy. This essential feature of the export price policy may. be either the guiding principle behind the price policy, or an expression of the conditions or results achieved by the price policy or both. One or more examples of each type will be given in order to show the details of price policy.

If export prices are higher than domestic prices after the adjustment, then export sales are presumably more profitable than domestic sales and vice versa. However, the following distinction must be made between the comparison of prices and the comparative profitability of domestic and export sales as a whole. Where a business organization makes some of its export sales at net prices identical to domestic prices and some of its export sales at net prices higher than domestic it has been put into group I--export prices higher than domestic prices. Where the business organization consummates any significant portion of its export business at net prices lower than domestic prices so that its net profit on that portion of its sales is lower than the net profit on its domestic sales it has been classified into group III--export prices lower than domestic prices. In some of these

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