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Price and quality in spatial competition

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  • Brekke, Kurt R.
  • Siciliani, Luigi
  • Straume, Odd Rune

Abstract

We study the relationship between competition and quality within a spatial competition framework where firms compete in prices and quality. We generalise existing literature on spatial price-quality competition along several dimensions, including utility functions that are non-linear in income and cost functions that are non-separable in output and quality. Our main message is that the scope for a positive relationship between competition and quality is underestimated in the existing literature. If we allow for income effects by assuming that utility is strictly concave in income, we find that lower transportation costs always lead to higher quality. The presence of income effects might also reverse a previously reported negative relationship between the number of firms and equilibrium quality. This reversal result is further strengthened if there are cost substitutabilities between output and quality. Equilibrium quality provision is always less than socially optimal in the presence of income effects.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 40 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 471-480

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:40:y:2010:i:6:p:471-480

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Keywords: Spatial competition Quality Income effects;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. E. Bacchiega & E. Randon & L. Zirulia, 2010. "Strategic Accessibility Competition," Working Papers 696, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  2. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2014. "Can Competition Reduce Quality?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4629, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Hugh Gravelle & Anthony Scott & Peter Sivey & Jongsay Yong, 2013. "Competition, prices, and quality in the market for physician consultations," Working Papers 089cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  4. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2011. "Quality competition with profit constraints: Do non-profit firms provide higher quality than for-profit firms?," NIPE Working Papers 05/2011, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  5. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2014. "Horizontal Mergers and Product Quality," NIPE Working Papers 07/2014, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  6. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2013. "Hospital Mergers: A Spatial Competition Approach," NIPE Working Papers 04/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  7. Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "Quality competition with profit constraints," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 642-659.
  8. Massimo Filippini & Fabian Heimsch & Giuliano Masiero, 2013. "Antibiotic consumption and the role of dispensing physicians," CEPRA working paper 1302, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  9. Rita Santos & Hugh Gravelle & Carol Propper, 2013. "Does quality affect patients’ choice of doctor? Evidence from the UK," Working Papers 088cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  10. Dieter Pennerstorfer, 2014. "Price and Quality Competition in Spatial Markets. The Case of Camping Sites," WIFO Working Papers 466, WIFO.
  11. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka & Carol Propper, 2012. "Competition, Equity and Quality in Health CareAbstract: In this paper we focus on the implications of consumer heterogeneity for whether competition will improve outcomes in health care markets. We sh," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/296, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  12. Laura Di Giorgio & Massimo Filippini & Giuliano Masiero, 2014. "The relationship between costs and quality in nonprofit nursing homes," IdEP Economic Papers 1402, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  13. Rita Santos & Hugh Gravelle & Carol Propper, . "Does quality affect patients’ choice of doctor? Evidence from the UK Abstract: Provider competition is a currently popular healthcare reform model. A necessary condition for greater competition to i," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/306, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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