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Attribute dependence and the provision of quality

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  • Degryse, Hans
  • Irmen, Andreas

Abstract

A quality improvement often necessitates modifications of varietal product features. This paper studies firms’ incentives to provide quality when this decision affects the goods’ degree of horizontal differentiation. Intuitively, one is inclined to argue that private incentives to provide quality are insufficient relative to the social optimum if a quality improvement reduces horizontal differentiation. We find that this argument depends on whether the game is simultaneous or sequential. In the former case private incentives prove excessive relative to the social optimum, and in the latter case, insufficient. As a result, a regulator might want to impose either minimum or maximum quality standards.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 547-569

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:31:y:2001:i:5:p:547-569

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References

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  1. Crampes, C. & Hollander, A., 1991. "Duopoly and Quality Standards," Cahiers de recherche 9128, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Degryse, H.A. & Irmen, A., 1998. "On the incentives to provide fuel-efficient automobiles," Discussion Paper 1998-48, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Degryse, H.A., 1996. "On the interaction between vertical and horizontal product differentiation: An application to banking," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-72562, Tilburg University.
  4. Matutes, Carmen & Padilla, A. Jorge, 1994. "Shared ATM networks and banking competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1113-1138, May.
  5. Nils-Henrik M. von der Fehr & Kristin Stevik, 1998. "Persuasive Advertising and Product Differentiation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 113-126, July.
  6. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Quality variations and maximal variety differentiation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 21-29, February.
  7. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1988. "Monopolistic Competition and General Purpose Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 231-46, April.
  8. Canoy, Marcel & Peitz, Martin, 1997. "The Differentiation Triangle," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 305-28, September.
  9. Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1996. "Horizontal and vertical differentiation: The Launhardt model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 485-506, June.
  10. Mark B. Vandenbosch & Charles B. Weinberg, 1995. "Product and Price Competition in a Two-Dimensional Vertical Differentiation Model," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(2), pages 224-249.
  11. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  12. Neven, D. & Thisse, J-F., 1989. "On Quality And Variety Competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1989020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Tabuchi, Takatoshi, 1994. "Two-stage two-dimensional spatial competition between two firms," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 207-227, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Matsumura, Toshihiro & Matsushima, Noriaki, 2007. "Congestion-reducing investments and economic welfare in a Hotelling model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 161-167, August.
  2. Hans Degryse & Andreas Irmen, 2001. "On the incentives to provide fuel-efficient automobiles," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 149-165, June.
  3. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2009. "Price and quality in spatial competition," NIPE Working Papers 21/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.

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