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Product Diversity in Asymmetric Oligopoly: Is the Quality of Consumer Goods too Low?

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  • Simon P. Anderson
  • André de Palma

Abstract

We analyse an oligopoly model incorporating horizontal differentiation and quality differences. High quality goods are overpriced and underproduced. When the market is fairly well covered, low quality products may be profitable when their net social contribution is negative, implying excessive entry. In a relatively uncovered market, even low quality goods are underproduced and there may be underentry. When fixed costs are independent of quality, the market tends to select the right firms. Otherwise, the market may produce low quality products when it should produce high quality ones. The model is calibrated using market data for yoghurt.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2001. "Product Diversity in Asymmetric Oligopoly: Is the Quality of Consumer Goods too Low?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 113-135, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:49:y:2001:i:2:p:113-135
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-6451.00142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    2. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre & Nesterov, Yurii, 1995. "Oligopolistic Competition and the Optimal Provision of Products," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1281-1301, November.
    3. Raymond Deneckere & Michael Rothschild, 1986. "Monopolistic Competition and Preference Diversity," Discussion Papers 684, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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