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Price Competition in Markets with Customer Testing: The Captive Customer Effect

  • Hoppe, Heidrun C.
  • Lehmann-Grube, Ulrich

We introduce product differentiation into the analysis of price competition in markets where suppliers test customers in order to assess whether they will pay for received goods or services. We find that, if the degree of differentiation is sufficiently high, suppliers may improve the average probability that their clientele will pay by charging higher prices. This helps suppliers to sustain high prices in equilibrium. Moreover, endogenizing locations in product space, we demonstrate that the high price level can be implemented in a pure-strategy subgame-perfect equilibrium with a high degree of differentiation. This is in contrast to the original Hotelling model with linear travel costs where a pure-strategy subgame-perfect equilibrium fails to exist.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6229.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6229
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  12. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  13. Broecker, Thorsten, 1990. "Credit-Worthiness Tests and Interbank Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 429-52, March.
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  16. Kim, M. & Kristiansen, E.G. & Vale, B., 2001. "Endogenous Product Differentiation in Credit Markets: What do Borrowers Pay for?," Papers 27/2001, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
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