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Competition Can Harm Consumers

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  • SIMON COWAN
  • XIANGKANG YIN

Abstract

Duopolists selling differentiated products can generate less consumer surplus than a monopoly selling one of the products. In a Hotelling-type model where a monopoly supplies more than half of potential consumers, but not all, entry by a rival leads to a duopoly price that is higher than the monopoly price. Consumers in aggregate will be made worse off by such entry when the effect of the price increase outweighs the benefit of extra variety. When consumers have continuous demand functions and firms use two-part tariffs, duopoly can also result in lower aggregate consumer surplus than monopoly. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Cowan & Xiangkang Yin, 2008. "Competition Can Harm Consumers ," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 264-271, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecp:v:47:y:2008:i:3:p:264-271
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1989. "Imperfect information in the product market," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 769-847 Elsevier.
    2. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
    3. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    4. Yin, Xiangkang, 2004. "Two-part tariff competition in duopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 799-820, June.
    5. Hinloopen, Jeroen & van Marrewijk, Charles, 1999. "On the limits and possibilities of the principle of minimum differentiation1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 735-750, July.
    6. Economides, Nicholas, 1984. "The principle of minimum differentiation revisited," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 345-368, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zacharias, Eleftherios, 2009. "Firm entry, product repositioning and welfare," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 1225-1235, November.
    2. Ritz, Robert, 2016. "Oligopolistic competition and welfare," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1680, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:4:p:653-662 is not listed on IDEAS

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