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Duopolistic competition in markets where consumers have switching costs

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  • Guillem Roig

Abstract

In a dynamic competition model where firms initially share half of the market and consumers have switching costs, consumers' sophistication, lifespan and concentration impact the possibility to set collusive prices. I first show that with strategic long-run consumers, collusion is harder to implement than when consumers are not strategic: with sophisticated consumers, a deviating fi rm can cash-in the rents that a buyer obtains after switching. I then study the consequences of relaxing buyers concentration and show that collusion is then easier to maintain than with non-strategic consumers: with strategic consumers a firm must offer a low price at the moment of deviation as consumers can bene t from increased competition, emerging from an asymmetric market structure, without having to pay switching costs. The paper suggests simple policy recommendations: it does not suffice to educate consumers about the competitive effects of their current purchasing decisions, but central purchasing agencies also need to be promoted.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillem Roig, 2017. "Duopolistic competition in markets where consumers have switching costs," Documentos de Trabajo 015621, Universidad del Rosario.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:015621
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Switching cost; Price collusion; Strategic consumers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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