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Price Competition in Markets with Customer Testing: The Captive Customer Effect

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  • Hoppe, Heidrun C.
  • Lehmann-Grube, Ulrich

Abstract

We introduce product differentiation into the analysis of price competition in markets where suppliers test customers in order to assess whether they will pay for received goods or services. We find that, if the degree of differentiation is sufficiently high, suppliers may improve the average probability that their clientele will pay by charging higher prices. This helps suppliers to sustain high prices in equilibrium. Moreover, endogenizing locations in product space, we demonstrate that the high price level can be implemented in a pure-strategy subgame-perfect equilibrium with a high degree of differentiation. This is in contrast to the original Hotelling model with linear travel costs where a pure-strategy subgame-perfect equilibrium fails to exist.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6229.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6229

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Related research

Keywords: Hotelling; Iterated elimination of strictly dominated strategies; Mixed strategy; Price competition; Testing;

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  1. Victor Ginsburgh & André De Palma & Yorgo Papageorgiou & Jacques-François Thisse, 1985. "The principle of minimum differentiation holds under sufficient heterogeneity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1759, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  7. Taylor, Curt, 2004. "Privacy and Information Acquisition in Competitive Markets," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5hk0k89w, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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  11. Kim, M. & Kristiansen, E.G. & Vale, B., 2001. "Endogenous Product Differentiation in Credit Markets: What do Borrowers Pay for?," Papers 27/2001, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  12. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  13. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Ramer, Roald, 1997. "Location, Location, Location," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 102-127, November.
  14. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
  15. Michael H. Riordan, 1992. "Competition and Bank Performance: A Theoretical Perspective," Papers 0026, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  16. Broecker, Thorsten, 1990. "Credit-Worthiness Tests and Interbank Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 429-52, March.
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