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The Existence of Low-End Firms May Help High-End Firms


  • Ikuo Ishibashi

    () (Faculty of Economics, Aoyama Gakuin University, 4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8366 Japan)

  • Noriaki Matsushima

    () (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University, 2-1 Rokkodai, Nada, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan)


Two models of competition between high-end and low-end products benefiting the high-end firms are presented. One is a quantity competition model, and the other is a price competition model with product differentiation. The key factor is the existence of two heterogeneous consumer groups: those who demand only high-end (name-brand) products and those who care little whether products are high or low end. We show that, under certain conditions, the profits of firms in the high-end market are larger when there are firms producing low-end products than when there are not. The existence of price-sensitive consumers who care little about product quality intensifies competition among the high-end firms. The existence of low-end firms functions as a credible threat, which induces the high-end firms not to overproduce because price-sensitive consumers buy products from the low-end firms. The result provides a new theoretical mechanism concerning the profitability and pricing of national brand firms after the entry of private labels. It has an implication for pricing and marketing strategies: Established firms should not decrease their prices after the entry of nonestablished firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ikuo Ishibashi & Noriaki Matsushima, 2009. "The Existence of Low-End Firms May Help High-End Firms," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(1), pages 136-147, 01-02.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:28:y:2009:i:1:p:136-147

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    Cited by:

    1. Naylor, Robin & Soegaard, Christian Author-workplace-Name University of Warwick, 2018. "The Effects of Entry in Oligopolistic Trade with Bargained Input Prices," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1148, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Matsushima, Noriaki & Mizuno, Tomomichi, 2012. "Profit-enhancing competitive pressure in vertically related industries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 142-152.
    3. Ikuo Ishibashi & Noriaki Matsushima, 2012. "Should Public Sectors Be Complements of Private Sectors?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 168(4), pages 712-730, December.
    4. Junichiro Ishida & Toshihiro Matsumura & Noriaki Matsushima, 2011. "Market Competition, R&D And Firm Profits In Asymmetric Oligopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 484-505, September.
    5. Wilfred Amaldoss & Woochoel Shin, 2011. "Competing for Low-End Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(5), pages 776-788, September.
    6. Arijit Mukherjee & Achintya Ray, 2014. "Entry, Profit and Welfare under Asymmetric R&D Costs," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82(3), pages 284-295, June.


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