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Customization in an Endogenous-Timing Game with Vertical Differentiation

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Abstract

We study mass customization in a duopoly game in which the firms' products have different qualities. Whether customization choices are made simultaneously or sequentially is endogenously determined. Specifically, the customization stage of the game involves two periods. Each firm either selects its product type in period 1 or postpones this decision to period 2. We show that customization by one or both firms occurs only if the quality difference is sufficiently large. Flexibility of timing in the customization stage sometimes enables the firms to achieve an outcome that is Pareto superior to that if they were constrained to simultaneous customization choices. Although the high quality firm is more likely to customize, in some circumstances the low quality firm can obtain an advantage by becoming the first and only firm to adopt customization.

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File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2013/WP1304_loginova.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 1304.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: 05 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in Economic Modelling
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1304

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Keywords: customization; horizontal differentiation; vertical differentiation; endogenous timing;

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  1. Matsumura, Toshihiro, 1999. "Quantity-setting oligopoly with endogenous sequencing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 289-296, February.
  2. Niladri B. Syam & Ranran Ruan & James D. Hess, 2005. "Customized Products: A Competitive Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(4), pages 569-584, February.
  3. Edward C. Prescott & Michael Visscher, 1977. "Sequential Location among Firms with Foresight," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 378-393, Autumn.
  4. Oksana Loginova & X. H. Wang, 2009. "Customization with Vertically Diff erentiated Products," Working Papers 0903, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  5. Yuanzhu Lu, 2006. "Endogenous Timing in a Mixed Oligopoly with Foreign Competitors: the Linear Demand Case," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 49-68, June.
  6. Amir, Rabah & Stepanova, Anna, 2006. "Second-mover advantage and price leadership in Bertrand duopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-20, April.
  7. Oksana Loginova, 2010. "Brand familiarity and product knowledge in customization," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 297-309.
  8. Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.M., 1988. "Endogenous Timing In Duopoly Games: Stackelberg Or Cournot Equilibria," Papers 88-4, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  9. Bernhardt, Dan & Liu, Qihong & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2007. "Product customization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1396-1422, August.
  10. Romano, Richard & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2005. "On the endogeneity of Cournot-Nash and Stackelberg equilibria: games of accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 73-107, January.
  11. Sadanand, Asha & Sadanand, Venkatraman, 1996. "Firm Scale and the Endogenous Timing of Entry: a Choice between Commitment and Flexibility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 516-530, August.
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