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Product Lines and Price Discrimination in the European Car Market

  • Ginsburgh, Victor
  • Weber, Shlomo

In this paper we consider a model of oligopolistic competition where firms make a two-dimensional product line decision. They choose a location in style space, thus inducing horizontal differentiation, and produce different qualities (a product line) of a given good (vertical differentiation), consumed by a population of customers who differ in their income and preference for style. We prove the existence of a non-cooperative equilibrium and show that, as the degree of competition increases, prices approach marginal cost. The approach is used to show that European car producers seem indeed to use product lines to discriminate across EU countries. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester

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Article provided by University of Manchester in its journal Manchester School.

Volume (Year): 70 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 101-14

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Handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:70:y:2002:i:1:p:101-14
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  1. Victor GINSBURGH & Geneviève VANHAMME, 1989. "Price Differences in the EC Car Market. Some Further Results," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 15-16, pages 137-149.
  2. Gilbert, Richard J & Matutes, Carmen, 1993. "Product Line Rivalry with Brand Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 223-40, September.
  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. Brander, James A & Eaton, Jonathan, 1984. "Product Line Rivalry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 323-34, June.
  5. Novshek, William, 1980. "Equilibrium in simple spatial (or differentiated product) models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 313-326, April.
  6. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  7. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  8. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 2004. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 68-105, February.
  9. Victor Ginsburgh & Yves Mertens, 1985. "Product differentiation and discrimination in the European Community: the case of automobiles," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1755, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Mertens, Yves & Ginsburgh, Victor, 1985. "Product Differentiation and Price Discrimination in the European Community: The Case of Automobiles," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 151-66, December.
  11. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  12. Horstmann, Ignatius & Slivinski, Alan, 1985. "Location models as models of product choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 367-386, August.
  13. Frank Verboven, 1996. "International Price Discrimination in the European Car Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 240-268, Summer.
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