Do profits always decrease with decreasing product differentiation? A reversal result in a unionized duopoly
AbstractThis paper aims at investigating if the conventional wisdom, that a decrease in the degree of product differentiation (which implies increasing competition) always reduces firms’ profits, remains true in a differentiated duopoly model with decentralized, or firm-specific, monopoly unions. In this context, when product differentiation decreases, an important effect, termed “endogenous” or “union wage effect”, adds to the standard competition effect in affecting profits. Moreover, the union wage effect operates against the competition effect and, provided that unions are sufficiently wage-oriented, that is, they sufficiently prefer wages to employment, can actually reverse the conventional result under both Cournot and Bertrand competition. However, this is more likely to occur under competition à la Cournot.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy in its series Discussion Papers with number 2011/112.
Date of creation: 02 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
unionized duopoli; monopoly unions; product differentiation; profits;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
- J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
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- Lopez, Monica Correa & Naylor, Robin A., 2004. "The Cournot-Bertrand profit differential: A reversal result in a differentiated duopoly with wage bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 681-696, June.
- Luciano Fanti, 2011. "Cross-ownership and unions in a Cournot duopoly: when profits reduce with horizontal product differentiation," Discussion Papers 2011/128, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
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