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Location-then-price competition with uncertain consumer tastes

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  • Kieron Meagher

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  • Klaus Zauner

Abstract

We investigate Hotelling’s duopoly game of location-then-price choices with quadratic transportation costs and uniformly distributed consumers under the assumption that firms are uncertain about consumer tastes. When the uncertainty has a uniform distribution on the closed interval $[-\frac{L}{2},\frac{L}{2}]$ , with $0 > L > \infty$ , we characterize the unique equilibrium and the socially optimal locations. Contrary to the individual-level random utility models, we find that uncertainty is a differentiation force. For small (large) sizes of the uncertainty, there is excessive (insufficient) differentiation. More uncertainty about consumer tastes can have positive or negative welfare effects, depending on the size of the uncertainty. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Kieron Meagher & Klaus Zauner, 2005. "Location-then-price competition with uncertain consumer tastes," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(4), pages 799-818, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:25:y:2005:i:4:p:799-818
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-004-0520-6
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Król, Michał, 2012. "Product differentiation decisions under ambiguous consumer demand and pessimistic expectations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 593-604.
    2. Arcan Nalca, & Tamer Boyaci, & Saibal Ray, 2017. "Brand positioning and consumer taste information," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-17-01_R1, ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 04 Dec 2017.
    3. Kieron J. Meagher & Klaus G. Zauner, 2008. "Uncertainty in Spatial Duopoly with Possibly Asymmetric Distributions: a State Space Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 579, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    4. Krol Michal, 2011. "On the Existence and Social Optimality of Equilibria in a Hotelling Game with Uncertain Demand and Linear-Quadratic Costs," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-22, March.
    5. Michal Król, 2011. "More price competition can benefit spatial duopolists when the consumer preferences are uncertain," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1102, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    6. Meagher, Kieron J., 2012. "Optimal product variety in a Hotelling model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 71-73.
    7. Leo Kaas & Paul Madden, 2010. "Minimum wages and welfare in a Hotelling duopsony," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 43(2), pages 167-188, May.
    8. Michal Król, 2009. "The role of demand uncertainty in the two stage Hotelling model," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0904, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    9. Heidrun Hoppe & Ulrich Lehmann-Grube, 2008. "Price competition in markets with customer testing: the captive customer effect," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 35(3), pages 497-521, June.
    10. Aurélie Bonein & Stéphane Turolla, 2017. "Spatial competition with demand uncertainty: A laboratory experiment," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 17-12, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    11. Bonein, Aurélie & Turolla, Stéphane, 2009. "Sequential location under one-sided demand uncertainty," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 145-159, September.
    12. Jianhu Zhang & Changying Li, 2013. "Endogenous timing in a mixed oligopoly under demand uncertainty," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 108(3), pages 273-289, April.
    13. Buechel, Berno & Roehl, Nils, 2015. "Robust equilibria in location games," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 240(2), pages 505-517.
    14. Arcan Nalca, & Tamer Boyaci, & Saibal Ray, 2017. "Consumer taste uncertainty in the context of store brand and national brand competition," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-17-01, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    15. Meagher, Kieron J. & Zauner, Klaus G., 2011. "Uncertain spatial demand and price flexibility: A state space approach to duopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 26-28, October.
    16. Zsolt Katona, 2015. "Democracy in product design: Consumer participation and differentiation strategies," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 359-394, December.

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