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Optimal Product Proliferation in Monopoly: A Dynamic Analysis

  • L. Lambertini

The monopolist’s incentives towards product proliferation are evaluated in an optimal control model considering three alternative regimes: profit-seeking; social planning; and a hybrid case with monopoly pricing and a regulator setting product innovation to maximise welfare. In equilibtium, the profitseeking firm supplies a socially suboptimal number of varieties to reduce cannibalisation while the social planner exploits the same effect to satisfy consumers’ love for variety and decrease the market price of all products. In terms of the Schumpeter vs Arrow debate on the relationship between market structure and innovation incentives, the results obtained in this model have a definite Arrovian flavor

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 648.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:648
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  1. Brander, James A & Eaton, Jonathan, 1984. "Product Line Rivalry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 323-34, June.
  2. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. CHAMPSAUR, Paul & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, . "Multiproduct duopolists," CORE Discussion Papers RP 854, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Majerus, David W., 1988. "Price vs. quantity competition in oligopoly supergames," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 293-297.
  10. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
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  12. Giacomo Bonanno, 1987. "Location Choice, Product Proliferation and Entry Deterrence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 37-45.
  13. Paul Klemperer & A. Jorge Padilla, 1997. "Do Firms' Product Lines Include Too Many Varieties?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 472-488, Autumn.
  14. MacDonald, Glenn M & Slivinski, Alan, 1987. "The Simple Analytics of Competitive Equilibrium with Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 941-53, December.
  15. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  16. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini, 2002. "Private and Social Incentives Towards Investment in Product Differentiation," Working Papers 431, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  17. Jaskold Gabszewicz, Jean & Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1986. "Segmenting the market: The monopolist's optimal product mix," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 273-289, August.
  18. Cellini, Roberto & Lambertini, Luca, 2002. "A differential game approach to investment in product differentiation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 51-62, November.
  19. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
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