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Price Competition in Product Variety Networks

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  • Ushchev, Philip
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We develop a product-differentiated model where the product space is a network defined as a set of varieties (nodes) linked by their degrees of substitutability (edges). We also locate consumers into this network, so that the location of each consumer (node) corresponds to her “ideal” variety. We show that, even though prices need not to be strategic complements, there exists a unique Nash equilibrium in the price game among firms. Equilibrium prices are determined by both firms’ sign-alternating Bonacich centralities and the average willingness to pay across consumers. They both hinge on the network structure of the firm-product space. We also investigate how local product differentiation and the spatial discount factor affect the equilibrium prices. We show that these effects non-trivially depend on the network structure. In particular, we find that, in a star-shaped network, the firm located in the star node does not always enjoy higher monopoly power than the peripheral firms.

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  • Ushchev, Philip & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Price Competition in Product Variety Networks," ETA: Economic Theory and Applications 244535, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemth:244535
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.244535
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    Cited by:

    1. Ying‐Ju Chen & Yves Zenou & Junjie Zhou, 2018. "Competitive pricing strategies in social networks," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 49(3), pages 672-705, September.
    2. Sergey Kokovin & Maxim Goryunov & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2017. "Continuous Spatial Monopolistic Competition: Matching Goods With Consumers," HSE Working papers WP BRP 173/EC/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Chen, Ying-Ju & Zenou, Yves & Zhou, Junjie, 2020. "Network Topology and Market Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 14495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Jacques-François Thisse & Philip Ushchev, 2018. "Monopolistic competition without apology," Chapters, in: Luis C. Corchón & Marco A. Marini (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory and Industrial Organization, Volume I, chapter 5, pages 93-136, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Panebianco, Fabrizio & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Innovation, Pricing and Targeting in Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 11398, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Takeda, Kohei & Hosoe, Toyoki & Watanabe, Takayuki & Matsubayashi, Nobuo, 2018. "Stability analysis of horizontal mergers in a market with asymmetric substitutability," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 73-84.
    7. Ryo Itoh & Zonghui Li, 2021. "Effects of dual networks on tax strategies: geography and transaction," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 72(1), pages 97-128, January.

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    Keywords

    Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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