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Competitive Outcomes in Product-Differentiated Oligopoly

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  • Michael J. Mazzeo

    (Northwestern University)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of market concentration and product differentiation on the observed outcomes of competition among oligopolists. The empirical framework is designed to examine whether competition is less intense in markets with equal levels of concentration but more differentiation among the products offered. A two-stage estimation procedure is proposed to address the endogeneity problem inherent in comparing outcomes across different market structures. I estimate the competitive effects using data from a cross section of oligopoly motel markets located along U.S. interstate highways. The results indicate that firms benefit substantially by offering differentiated products. The presence of any market competitor drives down prices, but the effect is much smaller when the competitor is a different product type. Differentiation is optimal product choice behavior because the resulting competition among firms is less tough when their products are differentiated. © 2002 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Mazzeo, 2002. "Competitive Outcomes in Product-Differentiated Oligopoly," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 716-728, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:84:y:2002:i:4:p:716-728
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    Cited by:

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    3. Haizhen Lin & Yijia Wang, 2012. "Competition and Price Discrimination in the Parking Garage Industry," Working Papers 2012-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    4. Kosová, Renáta & Lafontaine, Francine, 2012. "Much ado about chains: A research agenda," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 303-308.
    5. repec:eee:touman:v:49:y:2015:i:c:p:119-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Yasunori Ishii, 2013. "Special Issue. Guest Editor: Zhihao Yu," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 571-584, August.
    7. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:3:p:510-558 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Toro-González Daniel & Gallardo R. Karina & Yan Jia & McCluskey Jill J., 2013. "Quality Differentiation with Flavors: Demand Estimation of Unobserved Attributes," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-11, September.
    9. Daniel Albalate & Jordi Perdiguero, 2012. "“Entry Regulation Asymmetries and Gasoline Competition in a Mixed Motorway Network”," IREA Working Papers 201218, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2012.
    10. Charlotte R. Ren & Ye Hu & Yu (Jeffrey) Hu & Jerry Hausman, 2011. "Managing Product Variety and Collocation in a Competitive Environment: An Empirical Investigation of Consumer Electronics Retailing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(6), pages 1009-1024, June.
    11. Darlene Chisholm & Margaret McMillan & George Norman, 2010. "Product differentiation and film-programming choice: do first-run movie theatres show the same films?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 34(2), pages 131-145, May.
    12. Toro-Gonzalez, Daniel & Yan, Jia & Gallardo, Rosa Karina & McCluskey, Jill J., 2012. "Demand Estimation In The Presence Of An Unobservable Product Attribute: The Case Of Mint Quality," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123518, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Xiao, Mo & Orazem, Peter F., 2011. "Does the fourth entrant make any difference?: Entry and competition in the early U.S. broadband market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 547-561, September.
    14. Scotti, Davide & Dresner, Martin, 2015. "The impact of baggage fees on passenger demand on US air routes," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 4-10.
    15. Haizhen Lin & Isabelle Yijia Wang, 2015. "Competition and Price Discrimination: Evidence from the Parking Garage Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 522-548, September.
    16. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:1:p:73-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Owens, Mark F. & Rennhoff, Adam D., 2014. "Provision and price of child care services: For-profits and nonprofits," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 40-51.
    18. Coublucq, Daniel, 2013. "Demand estimation with selection bias: A dynamic game approach with an application to the US railroad industry," DICE Discussion Papers 94, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    19. Thomas N. Hubbard & Michael J. Mazzeo, 2017. "When Demand Increases Cause Shakeouts," NBER Working Papers 23639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Ana Georgina Marín & Rainer Schwabe, 2013. "Bank Competition and Account Penetration: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2013-14, Banco de México.
    21. Randal Watson, 2009. "PRODUCT VARIETY AND COMPETITION IN THE RETAIL MARKET FOR EYEGLASSES -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 217-251, June.

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