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Introductory Offers in a Model of Strategic Competition

  • Gehrig, Thomas
  • Stenbacka, Rune

We show how introductory offers emerge endogenously under conditions of competition in markets with switching costs. In a standard Hotelling model we find the combination of switching costs and introductory discounts to reduce industry profits relative to industries without switching costs, in which introductory offers do not emerge. Thus, our analysis offers a formalized argument for the policy conclusion that the strategic use of introductory offers should be promoted, not banned, in environments where firms are able to discriminate across different vintages of customers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3189.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3189
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  1. Klemperer, Paul, 1995. "Competition When Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 515-39, October.
  2. Deneckere, Raymond J & Kovenock, Dan & Lee, Robert, 1992. "A Model of Price Leadership Based on Consumer Loyalty," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 147-56, June.
  3. Shy, Oz, 2002. "A quick-and-easy method for estimating switching costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-87, January.
  4. von Weizsacker, C Christian, 1984. "The Costs of Substitution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1085-1116, September.
  5. Padilla, A. Jorge, 1992. "Mixed pricing in oligopoly with consumer switching costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 393-411, September.
  6. Thomas Gehrig & Rune Stenbacka, 2000. "Information Sharing in Banking: A Collusive Device?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1837, Econometric Society.
  7. Nilssen, T., 1990. "Two Kinds of Consumer Switching Costs," Papers 12-90, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  8. Joseph Farrell, 1986. "Moral Hazard as an Entry Barrier," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 440-449, Autumn.
  9. Nilssen, Tore, 2000. "Consumer lock-in with asymmetric information," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 641-666, May.
  10. Ann van Ackere & Diane J. Reyniers, 1995. "Trade-ins and Introductory Offers in a Monopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 58-74, Spring.
  11. Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1990. "Endogenous switching costs in a duopoly model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 353-373, September.
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