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Multiproduct price competition with heterogeneous consumers and nonconvex costs

  • Braido, Luis H.B.

This paper extends the oligopolistic model of price competition to environments with multiple goods, heterogeneous consumers, and arbitrary continuous cost functions. A Nash equilibrium in mixed strategies with an endogenous sharing rule is proven to exist. It is also shown that, in environments with fixed costs and constant marginal costs, all (symmetric and asymmetric) equilibria exhibit price dispersion across stores. Furthermore, the paper identifies scenarios in which prices will necessarily be random. In these markets, stores keep each other guessing because, given the fixed costs, they would incur a loss if their price strategies were anticipated and beaten by competitors. This is interpreted as an important economic feature that is possibly behind random price promotions such as weekly specials.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Mathematical Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2009)
Issue (Month): 9-10 (September)
Pages: 526-534

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Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:45:y:2009:i:9-10:p:526-534
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  1. Dastidar, Krishnendu Ghosh, 1997. "Comparing Cournot and Bertrand in a Homogeneous Product Market," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 205-212, July.
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  10. Shilony, Yuval, 1977. "Mixed pricing in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 373-388, April.
  11. McAfee R. Preston, 1995. "Multiproduct Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 83-105, October.
  12. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2004. "Price Dispersion in the Lab and on the Internet: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2004-02, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  13. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
  14. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
  15. Simon, Leo K. & Zame, William R., 1987. "Discontinous Games and Endogenous Sharing Rules," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8n46v2wv, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  17. Dastidar, Krishnendu Ghosh, 1995. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Bertrand Equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 19-32, January.
  18. Rafael Rob, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504.
  19. Bliss, Christopher, 1988. "A Theory of Retail Pricing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 375-91, June.
  20. Marquez, Robert, 1997. "A note on Bertrand competition with asymmetric fixed costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 87-96, November.
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