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The value of switching costs

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  • Biglaiser, Gary
  • Crémer, Jacques
  • Dobos, Gergely

Abstract

We study a dynamic model with an incumbent monopolist and entry in every subsequent period. We first show that if all consumers have the same switching cost, then the intertemporal profits of the incumbent are the same as if there was only one period. We then study the consequences of heterogeneity of switching costs. We prove that even low switching cost customers have value for the incumbent: when there are more of them its profits increase as their presence hinders entrants who find it more costly to attract high switching cost customers.

Suggested Citation

  • Biglaiser, Gary & Crémer, Jacques & Dobos, Gergely, 2013. "The value of switching costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 935-952.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:148:y:2013:i:3:p:935-952
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2012.10.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Switching cost; Dynamic competition; Incumbency; Entry;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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