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Product Differentiation, the Volume of Trade and Profits under Cournot and Bertrand Duopoly

This paper analyses how product differentiation affects the volume of trade under duopoly using Shubik-Levitan demand functions rather than the Bowley demand functions used by Bernhofen (2001). The Shubik-Levitan demand functions have the advantage that an increase in product differentiation does not increase the size of the market as happens with the Bowley demand functions. It is shown that the volume of trade in terms of quantities is decreasing in the degree of product differentiation when the trade cost is relatively low, but increasing in the degree of product differentiation when the trade cost is relatively high.

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Paper provided by Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section in its series Cardiff Economics Working Papers with number E2011/26.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2011/26
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  1. Daniel M. Bernhofen, 2001. "Product differentiation, competition, and international trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1010-1023, November.
  2. Harrigan, James, 1994. "Scale Economies and the Volume of Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 321-28, May.
  3. Donsimoni, M.-P. & Gabszewicz, J.J., 1986. "Is international trade profitable to oligopolistic industries ?," CORE Discussion Papers 1986027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. James Brander & Paul Krugman, 1980. "A "Reciprocal Dumping" Model of International Trade," Working Papers 405, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  6. Peter Neary & Dermot Leahy, 2010. "Oligopoly and Trade," Economics Series Working Papers 517, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
  9. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
  10. Roger Clarke & David Collie, 2003. "Product differentiation and the gains from trade under Bertrand duopoly," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 658-673, August.
  11. Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2006. "Differentiated Duopoly with Asymmetric Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 999-1015, December.
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