IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Product and Price Competition in a Duopoly


  • K. Sridhar Moorthy

    (Yale University)


This paper examines the role of consumer preferences, costs, and price competition in determining the competitive product strategy of a firm. In the model studied here, there are two identical firms competing on product quality and price. They face consumers who prefer a higher quality product to a lower quality product, but differ in how much they are willing to pay for quality. The consumers can also choose a substitute if they don't like the product-price offerings of the two firms. For the firms, a higher quality product costs more to produce than a lower quality product. The paper shows that the equilibrium strategy for each firm should be to differentiate its product from its competitor, with the firm choosing the higher quality choosing the higher margin as well. This differentiation, however, is not efficient—that is, it is possible to choose two other products and offer them at prices that cover their marginal cost, and still satisfy consumers' “needs” better in the aggregate. A monopolist, by contrast, would differentiate his product line efficiently. This suggests that cannibalization has different effects on product strategy than competition. The paper also shows that if one firm enters the market first, then it can defend itself from later entrants, and gain a first-mover advantage, by preempting the most desirable product position.

Suggested Citation

  • K. Sridhar Moorthy, 1988. "Product and Price Competition in a Duopoly," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 7(2), pages 141-168.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:7:y:1988:i:2:p:141-168

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    product strategy; pricing strategy; game theory;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:7:y:1988:i:2:p:141-168. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.