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Too Many or Too Few Varieties? The Role of Multiproduct Firms

  • Caminal, Ramon

The goal of this paper is to examine the role of multiproduct firms in the market provision of product diversity. The analysis is conducted within the spatial model of nonlocalized competition proposed by Chen and Riordan (2006). It turns out that the effect of multiproduct firms on product diversity depends on the size distribution of firms. Under duopoly, product diversity is lower than under monopolistic competition. Nevertheless, the number of varieties can still be socially excessive. In contrast, if a large multiproduct firm (incumbent monopolist) competes against a large number of small (single product) firms then product diversity is higher than under monopolistic competition. Moreover, the incumbent firm is unable to monopolize the market and deter entry.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5938.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5938
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  1. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Price and Variety in the Spokes Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 897-921, 07.
  2. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Allanson, Paul & Montagna, Catia, 2005. "Multiproduct firms and market structure: An explorative application to the product life cycle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 587-597, September.
  4. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2003. "Market Performance With Multiproduct Firms," Virginia Economics Online Papers 357, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. Bonanno, Giacomo, 1987. "Location Choice, Product Proliferation and Entry Deterrence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 37-45, January.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  8. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  9. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
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