What Is the Price of Leadership? 3 Types of Price Leadership

What is the price of leadership? In a perfectly competitive market, there are no profits because prices are driven down by the cost of production. However, in some cases, firms may be able to earn abnormal or supernormal profits. This can happen when there is an imperfection in the market that gives the firm some sort of pricing power.

For example, if a firm has brand loyalty among its customers, it may be able to charge higher prices and earn greater profits than other firms in the same industry.

If you’re wondering what is the price of leadership, it’s the ability to create significant advantages for companies and lead to superior profitability.

What is the Price of Leadership?

Price leadership is a strategic position that a company can take to exert influence over the prices in an entire industry. By becoming the price leader, a company can effectively set the standard pricing for goods and services in the market. This can be a powerful position for companies that can maintain it, as it can lead to increased profits and market share.

This pricing strategy is also known as price leadership.

This phenomenon is commonly found in markets where a few companies have control over pricing, such as airlines.

This often leaves competitors of the leading competitor little option but to match their prices or risk losing their market share.

Types of Price Leadership

The three main types of price leadership are barometric, collusive, and dominant.


The barometric price leadership model is advantageous for organizations that can react quickly to market changes. They are more capable of identifying when these changes take place, such as higher or lower production costs.

For example, the company might decide to change its prices.

By being in tune with the market, a firm can establish itself as a barometer for pricing. Other firms will follow suit, setting their prices based on this benchmark.

If the low-priced competitor is doing something the other competitors have not yet realized, then they might follow suit.

Barometers have little power to influence other industry leaders and their impact is short-lived.


The collusive model of price leadership may be best for markets with oligopoly.

Price collusion occurs when a few companies agree to keep the prices of their products in sync.

In many industries, the larger, more established companies have the upper hand when it comes to setting prices for the smaller, less-established businesses. This is especially common when the costs of entering the market are high and production expenses are well-known.

Smaller, newer businesses have no other choice but to follow the pricing guidelines set forth by the bigger, more well-established players.

There is a fine line between pricing your products lower than your competitors and illegally colluding with them.

Collusion among firms is considered illegal if the change in the price of goods is not due to a change in costs. This is because such behavior is fraudulent.


The dominant price leadership model occurs in an industry where a single company dominates the market. There are competitors in the industry that provide the same products and services as the top company.

However, in this type of model, these smaller companies aren’t able to set their own pricing.

Dominant price leadership is sometimes called a partial monopoly.

The dominant company may choose to use predatory tactics, such as lowering prices to the point where competitors can’t compete.

In most countries, it’s against the law to enact pricing strategies that hurt smaller businesses.

How Price Leadership Works

Certain economic factors contribute to the rise of a price leader within a market.

  • Only a small number of companies are involved
  • Entry into the industry is highly regulated
  • Products are homogeneous
  • Demand is not elastic
  • Companies have similar long-run average total cost (LRATC)

The long-run average total cost (LRATC) is an important metric in economics that helps determine the minimum average cost at which a firm can produce any given level of output. This is especially useful information for businesses when all inputs are variable, as it allows them to plan for the long run and ensure they are operating at a sustainable level.

The prevalence of a price leader tends to be more common in industries where there is little difference between one company’s product and another.

When consumer demand is high for a specific product, it can result in price leadership emerging. This happens because consumers are drawn away from competing products, making the price of the original product the market leader.

As consumer demand for a product increases, the price of that product becomes the market leader.

What Is the Price Leadership Model?

A company that has price leadership when it sets the price for products in its industry is often followed by other, smaller companies.

This happens when products are so similar that customers will purchase from whichever company offers the lowest price.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Price Leadership

A firm that emerges as a low-price leader in a market may gain significant market share. Other competitors in the market may benefit as well.

If companies in a market charge higher prices, then all other companies in that sector should benefit from increased demand, as long as demand remains constant.

If the market is made up mostly of companies of a similar size, then there could be a price war if there is no company setting the price. This is because each firm would try to grab a larger market share by dropping prices.

The benefit of a price leader is that companies may be able to invest more in their products, which may result in higher quality.

Companies that see increased profit will often invest more in R&D, which will allow them to develop better products, which will ultimately benefit their customers.

Price leadership may encourage a system of interdependency between competitors.

When competitors in the same industry choose a similar pricing strategy, it benefits everyone.

While price leadership can be beneficial, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks.

Price leadership can be a disadvantage to consumers when prices increase as they will have to pay more for goods and services. However, if the price leader lowers prices, consumers may benefit from less expensive products.

In every type of pricing strategy–the barometric, the collusive, the dominant–the sellers benefit, not the buyers.

The customers will have to incur extra costs for the commodities which they were earlier getting at a lower price. This is because the sellers have hiked the prices of these items through collusion.

In the short term, consumers may benefit from price leaders lowering their prices. However, this assumes that these firms are not using low prices to drive away competitors and monopolize the market.

Smaller companies may have trouble sustaining their pricing strategy because they don’t have as much buying power as the industry leaders. This can make it tough for them to maintain low prices or stay in business over the long term.

This makes it hard for them to maintain a consistent level of price reductions and, in the long run, stay in business.

When a company sets a price that all other competitors follow, it can create a price war where companies compete on cost rather than quality. This can make consumers unsure of which company is providing the best product or service.

Instead of offering discounts, some businesses offer things like free deliveries, money-back guarantees, and installment plans.

In a pricing strategy, a price leader may not offer the same benefits to other competitors in the same market. This can lead to tension, conflict, and competition between competing companies.

If a product can be produced at a lower cost than a competitor, then the product will be priced lower.

This can cause a firm to lose out if its costs exceed the cost leaders.

There are no profits in a perfectly competitive market because there is perfect competition. Perfect competition is defined as many buyers and sellers in a market where all participants are well informed and free to enter and exit the market. In perfect competition, firms can only make normal profits. Normal profits are defined as zero economic profits because firms are earning enough revenue to cover all of their costs.


What is the price of leadership? The price of leadership can be significant in terms of profitability. Price leadership is a strategic position that a company can take to exert influence over the prices in an entire industry. By becoming the price leader, a company can effectively set the standard pricing for goods and services in the market. This can be a powerful position for companies that can maintain it, as it can lead to increased profits and market share.

You may also like…