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Endogenous Product Differentiation, Market Size and Prices

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  • Shon M. Ferguson

Abstract

This paper provides a framework to understand how market size affects firms' investments in product differentiation in a model of monopolistic competition. The theory proposes that consumers' love of variety makes them more sensitive to product differentiation efforts by firms, which leads to more differentiated products in larger markets. The framework also predicts an inverted U -shaped effect of trade liberalization on product differentiation, with trade liberalization leading to more differentiated products when starting from autarky but then leading to less differentiated products as the countries approach free trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Shon M. Ferguson, 2015. "Endogenous Product Differentiation, Market Size and Prices," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 45-61, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:23:y:2015:i:1:p:45-61
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    Cited by:

    1. Lemarié, Stéphane & Parenty, Sébastien, 2016. "Research incentives and tradeoff for improving productivity of different crops," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 245161, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Irlacher, Michael, 2014. "Multi-Product Firms, Endogenous Sunk Costs, and Gains from Trade through Intra-Firm Adjustments," Discussion Papers in Economics 21023, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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