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Transparency and Product Variety

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Author Info

  • Christian Schultz

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We study the long run e¤ects of transparency in a circular town model of a differentiated market. The market is not fully transparent on the consumer side: A fraction of consumers are uninformed about prices. Increasing transparency reduces the equilibrium price, profit and entry of firms. This improves welfare. If consumers' transportation cost is high, it also improves the average utility of consumers. When transportation costs are very small, the fully transparent market features cut throat competition if there are several firms in the market, and if firms choose pure entry strategies only one firm enters and acts like a monopolist. Consumers therefore prefer that market transparency is as high as possible under the restriction that the market should allow entry for two firms. If firms choose mixed entry strategies, consumers prefer full transparency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics in its series CIE Discussion Papers with number 2007-13.

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Length: 8 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:2007-13

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Keywords: market transparency; product differentiation; product variety; competition policy;

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References

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  1. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  2. Anderson, Simon P. & Engers, Maxim, 2007. "Participation games: Market entry, coordination, and the beautiful blonde," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 120-137, May.
  3. Boone, Jan & Pottersz, Jan, 2006. "Transparency and prices with imperfect substitutes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 398-404, December.
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  11. Vettas, Nikolaos, 2000. "On entry, exit, and coordination with mixed strategies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1557-1576, August.
  12. Schultz, Christian, 2005. "Transparency on the consumer side and tacit collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 279-297, February.
  13. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  14. Schultz, Christian, 2004. "Market transparency and product differentiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 173-178, May.
  15. Jeffrey H. Fischer & Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1996. "Product Variety and Firm Agglomeration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 281-309, Summer.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 7-10.
  2. Rasch, Alexander & Herre, Jesko, 2013. "Customer-side transparency, elastic demand, and tacit collusion under differentiation," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 51-59.
  3. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2010. "Transparency, price-dependent demand and product variety," DICE Discussion Papers 04, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  4. Schultz, Christian, 2014. "Consumer poaching, brand switching, and price transparency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 266-269.

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