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Fat Products

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  • Alexei Alexandrov

Abstract

The economics literature generally considers products as points in some characteristics space. Starting with Hotelling, this served as a convenient assumption, yet with more products being flexible or self-customizable to some degree it makes sense to think that products have positive measure. I develop a model where ?rms can o¤er interval long 'fat' products in the spatial model of differentiation. Contrary to the standard results pro?ts of the firms can decrease with increased differentiation - there is a standard effect of lowering the incentive to cut prices, but there is also an incentive to provide more content sometimes resulting in lower profits. Consumer welfare increases unambiguously with respect to the standard model of Salop. I also find that it is profitable for firms to commit as an industry not to make fat products. If one firm is a leader and another is a follower, the leader accommodates the follower by settling for less pro?ts if differentiation is small.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1435.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1435

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Keywords: self-customizable products; flexible products; product differentiation;

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  1. Spence, A Michael, 1980. "Multi-Product Quantity-Dependent Prices and Profitability Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 821-41, October.
  2. Kenneth L. Judd, 1983. "Credible Spatial Preemption," Discussion Papers 577, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Michaela Draganska & Dipak C. Jain, 2005. "Product-Line Length as a Competitive Tool," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, 03.
  4. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  5. Klemperer, Paul, 1992. "Equilibrium Product Lines: Competing Head-to-Head May Be Less Competitive," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 740-55, September.
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  10. Jean J. Gabszewicz & Didier Laussel & Nathalie Sonnac, 2004. "Programming and Advertising Competition in the Broadcasting Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 657-669, December.
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  14. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
  15. R. Venkatesh & Wagner Kamakura, 2003. "Optimal Bundling and Pricing under a Monopoly: Contrasting Complements and Substitutes from Independently Valued Products," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76(2), pages 211-232, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Oksana Loginova & X. Hnery Wang, 2010. "Mass Customization with Vertically Differentiated Products," Working Papers 0814, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  2. Loginova, Oksana & Wang, X. Henry, 2013. "Mass customization in an endogenous-timing game with vertical differentiation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 164-173.
  3. Alexandrov, Alexei & Deb, Joyee, 2012. "Price discrimination and investment incentives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 615-623.
  4. Heski Bar-Isaac & Guillermo Caruana & Vicente Cunat, 2007. "Information Gathering Externalities in Product Markets," Working Papers 07-19, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Oksana Loginova & X. H. Wang, 2009. "Customization: Ideal Varieties, Product Uniqueness and Price Competition," Working Papers 0904, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  6. Takagoshi, Noritsugu & Matsubayashi, Nobuo, 2013. "Customization competition between branded firms: Continuous extension of product line from core product," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 225(2), pages 337-352.

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