Liberalizing a Distribution System: the European Car Market
We quantify the competitive effects of removing vertical restraints, based on the recent proposals to liberalize the selective and exclusive distribution system in the European car market. We estimate a differentiated products demand system for new cars and specify a model of oligopoly pricing under the current distribution regime. We then perform several policy experiments: the creation of international intrabrand competition (cross-border trade) and a possible strengthening of national intrabrand competition. Our approach may also be useful to assess the competitive effects of vertical restraints in other applications.
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