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On Product Differentiation and Profits in Unionized Duopolies

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  • Luciano Fanti

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pisa, Italy)

  • Nicola Meccheri

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pisa, Italy)

Abstract

This work aims to investigate if the conventional wisdom, that a decrease in the degree of product differentiation always reduces firms’ profits, remains true in a differentiated duopoly model with decentralized, or firm-specific, monopoly unions. It is shown that, provided that unions are sufficiently wage-oriented, that is, they sufficiently prefer wages to employment, the conventional result can actually be reversed under both Cournot and Bertrand competition, implying that incentives for firms towards less differentiation may arise. Moreover, the range of product differentiation values, for which the “reversal result” applies, is larger when firms compete in quantities than in prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 37_11.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:37_11

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Keywords: unionized duopoly; product differentiation; profits;

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  1. Dhillon, Amrita & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2002. "A generalised wage rigidity result," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 285-311, March.
  2. Naylor, Robin, 1998. "International trade and economic integration when labour markets are generally unionised," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1251-1267, July.
  3. Naylor, Robin A., 2002. "Industry profits and competition under bilateral oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 169-175, October.
  4. Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2006. "Differentiated Duopoly with Asymmetric Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 999-1015, December.
  5. Henrick Horn & Asher Wolinsky, 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies and Incentives for Merger," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 408-419, Autumn.
  6. 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.
  7. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1990. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 45-62, Spring.
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