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Customization with Vertically Diff erentiated Products

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Abstract

We study an asymmetric duopoly market in which the firms' products are initially differentiated in both variety and quality. Each consumer has a most preferred variety and a quality valuation. Customization provides ideal varieties for consumers but has no effect on product qualities. The firms first choose whether to customize their products, then engage in price competition. For the customization stage we consider two different games: the simultaneous-move game and the endogenous-timing game. In the latter, whether customization choices are made simultaneously or sequentially is endogenously determined. We show that both quality and the timing of customization choices play important roles in determining the equilibrium outcome. Customization occurs only if the quality difference is sufficiently large. Endogenous timing sometimes enables the firms to achieve an outcome that is Pareto superior to that if they were to make their customization choices simultaneously. Although the higher quality firm is more likely to customize, endogenous timing sometimes enables the lower quality firm to obtain an advantage that it would not have in the simultaneous-move game.

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File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2009/WP0903_loginova.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 0903.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0903

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Related research

Keywords: customization; horizontal diff erentiation; vertical di fferentiation; endogenous timing.;

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Oksana Loginova & X. Henry Wang, 2009. "Customization: Ideal Varieties, Product Uniqueness and Price Competition," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2573-2581.
  3. Oksana Loginova & X. Hnery Wang, 2013. "Customization in an Endogenous-Timing Game with Vertical Differentiation," Working Papers 1304, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.

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