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Product Differentiation and Upstream-Downstream Relations

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  • Lynne Pepall
  • George Norman

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between a differentiated downstream market and a specialized upstream market. We analyze three different types of vertical relation between the upstream and downstream sectors when the upstream market supplies specialized and complementary inputs to a downstream product-differentiated market. The first is the benchmark case of decentralized markets, the second is a network of alliances among upstream suppliers, and the third is partial vertical integration. We identify the perfect equilibrium for a symmetric model in each case and show that there is no simple relationship between the degree of connection between upstream and downstream firms and profitability. The key factor affecting prices and the relative profitability of the different market organizations is the degree of product differentiation among the downstream firms, because it affects the intensity of competition among upstream suppliers. We show that vertical foreclosure is not an equilibrium strategy. Copyright (c) 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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  • Lynne Pepall & George Norman, 2001. "Product Differentiation and Upstream-Downstream Relations," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 201-233, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:10:y:2001:i:2:p:201-233
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    Cited by:

    1. Arghya Ghosh & Hodaka Morita, 2002. "Differentiated duopoly under vertical relationships with communication costs," Industrial Organization 0207008, EconWPA.
    2. repec:eee:indorg:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:25-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. G. Rossini & L. Vici, 2007. "Vertical integration, disintegration and ability to export," Working Papers 592, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    4. Erkal, Nisvan, 2007. "Buyer-supplier interaction, asset specificity, and product choice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 988-1010, October.
    5. Feenstra, Robert C. & Huang, Deng-Shing & Hamilton, Gary G., 2003. "A market-power based model of business groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 459-485, August.
    6. R. Antonietti & D. Antonioli, 2007. "Production offshoring and the skill composition of Italian manufacturing firms A quasi-experimental analysis," Working Papers 593, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    7. G. Rossini, 2005. "Pitfalls in private and social incentives of vertical crossborder outsourcing," Working Papers 536, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    8. Arijit Mukherjee & Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2012. "Vertical integration and product differentiation," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/17, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Sep 2012.
    9. Noriaki Matsushima, 2009. "VERTICAL MERGERS AND PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 812-834, December.
    10. Noriaki Matsushima, 2006. "Vertical mergers and product differentiation," Discussion Papers 2006-09, Kobe University, Graduate School of Business Administration.
    11. Matsushima, Noriaki, 2004. "Technology of upstream firms and equilibrium product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1091-1114, November.
    12. Lemarie, Stephane & Ramani, Shyama, 2003. "Analysis Of The Vertical Relationships Between Seed And Biotech Companies," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22041, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    13. Gianpaolo Rossini, 2008. "Competition and bargaining in vertical relationships with market uncertainty," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 55(3), pages 229-242, September.
    14. Matsushima, Noriaki & Mizuno, Tomomichi, 2013. "Vertical separation as a defense against strong suppliers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 228(1), pages 208-216.
    15. G. Rossini & L. Lambertini, 2003. "Endogeneous outsourcing and vertical integration with process R&D," Working Papers 487, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    16. G. Rossini, 2004. "Vertical integration in a stochastic framework and a nonsymmetric bargaining equilibrium," Working Papers 527, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    17. Matteo Bassi & Marco Pagnozzi & Salvatore Piccolo, 2015. "Product Differentiation by Competing Vertical Hierarchies," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 904-933, October.
    18. Karen Eggleston & George Norman & Lynne Pepall, 2002. "Managed Health Care and Provider Integration: a Theory of Bilateral Market Power," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0204, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    19. E. Bacchiega & O. Bonroy, 2012. "Vertical relations and number of channels in quality-differentiated markets," Working Papers wp823, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    20. L. Lambertini & G. Rossini, 2003. "Vertical Integration and Differentiation in an Oligopoly with Process Innovating R&D," Working Papers 468, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    21. Rossini, Gianpaolo, 2005. "Outsourcing with labor management," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 455-466, December.
    22. Gelves, J. Alejandro & Heywood, John S., 2016. "Pre-emptive mergers and downstream cost asymmetry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 23-26.
    23. Noriaki Matsushima & Tomomichi Mizuno, 2009. "Input specificity and product differentiation," ISER Discussion Paper 0745, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

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