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Multi-product Firms and Product Variety

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to study the role of multi-product firms in the market provision of product variety. The analysis is conducted using the spokes model of non-localized competition proposed by Chen and Riordan (2007). Firstly, we show that multi-product firms are at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis single-product firms and can only emerge if economies of scope are sufficiently strong. Secondly, under duopoly product variety may be higher or lower with respect to both the first best and the monopolistically competitive equilibrium. However, within a relevant range of parameter values duopolists drastically restrict their product range in order to relax price competition, and as a result product variety is far below the efficient level.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramon Caminal & Lluís M. Granero, 2008. "Multi-product Firms and Product Variety," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 734.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:734.08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    2. Allanson, Paul & Montagna, Catia, 2005. "Multiproduct firms and market structure: An explorative application to the product life cycle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 587-597, September.
    3. Jiandong Ju, 2003. "Oligopolistic Competition, Technology Innovation, and Multiproduct Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 346-359, May.
    4. Giacomo Bonanno, 1987. "Location Choice, Product Proliferation and Entry Deterrence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 37-45.
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    6. Minniti Antonio, 2006. "Multi-product Firms, R&D, and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-46, December.
    7. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
    8. Ottaviano, G.I.P. & Thisse, J.-F., 1999. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms and Optimum Product Diversity," Economics Working Papers eco99/31, European University Institute.
    9. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    10. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2003. "Market Performance With Multiproduct Firms," Virginia Economics Online Papers 357, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    11. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
    12. Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 188-217.
    13. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Price and Variety in the Spokes Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 897-921, July.
    14. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    15. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," NBER Working Papers 12322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Robert Feenstra & Hong Ma, 2007. "Optimal Choice of Product Scope for Multiproduct Firms under Monopolistic Competition," NBER Working Papers 13703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Besanko, David & Perry, Martin K & Spady, Richard H, 1990. "The Logit Model of Monopolistic Competition: Brand Diversity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 397-415, June.
    18. Simon P. Anderson & André Palma, 2006. "MARKET PERFORMANCE WITH MULTIPRODUCT FIRMS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 95-124, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emilie Dargaud & Carlo Reggiani, 2015. "On The Price Effects Of Horizontal Mergers: A Theoretical Interpretation," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 236-255, July.
    2. Yongmin Chen & Marius Schwartz, 2016. "Churn Versus Diversion in Antitrust: An Illustrative Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(332), pages 564-583, October.
    3. Caminal, Ramon, 2010. "Markets and linguistic diversity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 774-790, December.
    4. Carlo Reggiani, 2014. "Spatial Price Discrimination in the Spokes Model," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 628-649, September.
    5. Yongmin Chen & Marius Schwartz, 2015. "Churn vs. Diversion: An Illustrative Model," Working Papers gueconwpa~15-15-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    6. Yongmin Chen & Xinyu Hua, 2017. "Competition, Product Safety, and Product Liability," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(2), pages 237-267.
    7. repec:kap:jincot:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10842-017-0251-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Carlo Reggiani, "undated". "Optimal Differentiation and Spatial Competition: The Spokes Model with Product Delivery," Discussion Papers 09/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    9. Granero, Lluís M., 2013. "Most-favored-customer pricing, product variety, and welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 579-582.
    10. Chrysovalantou Milliou & Joel Sandonis, 2018. "Manufacturer Mergers and Product Variety in Vertically Related Markets," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-24, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    product variety; multiproduct firms; monopolistic;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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