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Heterogeneous preferences and location choice with multi-product firms

  • Chisholm, Darlene C.
  • Norman, George

This paper investigates whether the principle of minimum differentiation extends to the location choices of multi-product firms of different sizes supplying differentiated goods to consumers with heterogeneous tastes. Our analysis explicitly allows for the possibility that the resulting location equilibria will be asymmetric, and we compare the multiproduct equilibria with the location configurations that would arise if each outlet were operated by a single-product firm. We show that multi-product firms disperse their products if consumer heterogeneity is low or distance between markets is high. They adopt more dispersed locations than single product firms to limit business stealing from their own outlets. Asymmetry is shown to characterize location configurations of both multi-product and single-product firms.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 321-339

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:34:y:2004:i:3:p:321-339
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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  1. Norman, George, 2002. "The relative advantages of flexible versus designated manufacturing technologies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 419-445, July.
  2. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On Hotelling's "Stability in competition"," CORE Discussion Papers RP -385, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1992. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 261-76, September.
  4. Borenstein, Severin & Netz, Janet, 1999. "Why do all the flights leave at 8 am?: Competition and departure-time differentiation in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 611-640, July.
  5. Hamilton, J.H. & Macleod, W.P. & Thisse, J.F., 1988. "Spatial Competition And The Core," Papers 88-6, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  6. Victor Ginsburgh & André De Palma & Yorgo Papageorgiou & Jacques-François Thisse, 1999. "The principle of minimum differentiation holds under sufficient heterogeneity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/3319, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Weskamp, Anita, 1989. "Spatial discrimination : Bertrand vs. Cournot in a model of location choice," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 87-102, February.
  8. Pal, Debashis & Sarkar, Jyotirmoy, 2002. "Spatial competition among multi-store firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 163-190, February.
  9. Brander, James A & Eaton, Jonathan, 1984. "Product Line Rivalry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 323-34, June.
  10. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521305525 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. George Norman & Lynne Pepall, 2000. "Profitable Mergers in a Cournot Model of Spatial Competition," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 667-681, January.
  13. Martinez-Giralt, Xavier & Neven, Damien J, 1988. "Can Price Competition Dominate Market Segmentation?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 431-42, June.
  14. Anderson, Simon P & Neven, Damien J, 1991. "Cournot Competition Yields Spatial Agglomeration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 793-808, November.
  15. Eaton, B Curtis & Lipsey, Richard G, 1975. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Reconsidered: Some New Developments in the Theory of Spatial Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 27-49, January.
  16. Darlene C. Chisholm & George Norman, 2002. "Spatial Competition and Demand: An Application to Motion Pictures," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0216, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  17. Hummels, David & Levinsohn, James A, 1993. "Product Differentiation as a," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 445-49, May.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521315647 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Braid, Ralph M., 1988. "Heterogeneous preferences and non-central agglomeration of firms," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-68, February.
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