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Market coverage and the nature of product differentiation: a note

Author

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  • Xavier Y Wauthy

    () (CEREC, facultés Saint-Louis, Bruxelles and CORE, Université catholique Louvain)

Abstract

In this note, we analyze the equilibrium outcomes of pricing games with product differentiation in relation with the extent of market coverage. It is a received idea in the IO literature that the horizontal and vertical models of product differentiation are almost formally equivalent. We show that this idea turns out to be wrong when the full market coverage assumption is relaxed. We then argue that there exist two fundamentally different classes of address-models of differentiation, although their difference is not perfectly captured by the standard horizontal/vertical typology.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Y Wauthy, 2010. "Market coverage and the nature of product differentiation: a note," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1129-1136.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-10-00002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
    2. Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1986. "On the Nature of Competition with Differentiated Products," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(381), pages 160-172, March.
    3. Irmen, Andreas & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1998. "Competition in Multi-characteristics Spaces: Hotelling Was Almost Right," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 76-102, January.
    4. Boccard, N. & Wauthy, X.Y., 2010. "Equilibrium vertical differentiation in a Bertrand model with capacity precommitment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 288-297, May.
    5. Schmidt, Robert C., 2009. "Welfare in differentiated oligopolies with more than two firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 501-507, July.
    6. Cremer, Helmuth & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1991. "Location Models of Horizontal Differentiation: A Special Case of Vertical Differentiation Models," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 383-390, June.
    7. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-1483, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    price competition; product differentiation; vertical differentiation; horizontal differentiation;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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