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On the Robustness of the High-Quality Advantage under Vertical Differentiation

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  • Robert Schmidt

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Abstract

The idea that the high-quality provider in a vertically differentiated duopoly earns the higher profit (the so-called “high-quality advantage”) appears to be an established fact among economists. This note shows that the high-quality advantage is not a robust feature of vertical differentiation models. A low-quality advantage can be predicted under perfectly plausible assumptions, such as a concave utility–quality and/or a convex unit cost–quality relation. The existence of a high- or a low-quality advantage depends on the nature of the firms’ strategic interaction. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Schmidt, 2006. "On the Robustness of the High-Quality Advantage under Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 183-193, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jincot:v:6:y:2006:i:3:p:183-193
    DOI: 10.1007/s10842-006-0029-8
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10842-006-0029-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wauthy, Xavier, 1996. "Quality Choice in Models of Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 345-353, September.
    2. Crampes, Claude & Hollander, Abraham, 1995. "Duopoly and quality standards," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 71-82, January.
    3. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-557, May.
    4. Heidrun C. Hoppe & Ulrich Lehmann-Grube, 2001. "Second-Mover Advantages in Dynamic Quality Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 419-433, September.
    5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    6. Reiko Aoki, 2003. "Effect of credible quality investment with Bertrand and Cournot competition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(2), pages 653-672, March.
    7. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    8. Choi, Chong Ju & Shin, Hyun Song, 1992. "A Comment on a Model of Vertical Product Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 229-231, June.
    9. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-1483, September.
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    1. repec:kap:jincot:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10842-017-0253-4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    vertical differentiation; high-quality advantage; maximum differentiation; covered market equilibrium; non-linearity; L13; L15;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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