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Product differentiation, price discrimination and collusion

  • Stefano Colombo

    ()

    (DISCE, Università Cattolica)

The existing literature which analyses the relationship between the product differentiation degree and the sustainability of a collusive agreement on price assumes that firms cannot price discriminate, and concludes that there is a negative relationship between the product differentiation degree and the critical discount factor. This paper, in contrast, assumes that firms are able to price discriminate. Within the Hotelling framework, three different collusive schemes are studied: optimal collusion on discriminatory prices; optimal collusion on a uniform price; collusion not to discriminate. We obtain that the critical discount factor of the first and the third collusive scheme does not depend on the product differentiation degree, while the critical discount factor of the second collusive scheme depends positively on the product differentiation degree. Moreover, we show that suboptimal collusion is more difficult to sustain than optimal collusion.

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File URL: http://www.unicatt.it/Istituti/EconomiaFinanza/Quaderni/ief0085.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Paper provided by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) in its series DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza with number ief0085.

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Length: nn pages 36
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie3:ief0085
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.unicatt.it/Istituti/EconomiaFinanza
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  1. Thisse, J.-F. & Vives, X., 1987. "On the strategic choice of spatial price policy," CORE Discussion Papers 1987008, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Hackner, Jonas, 1994. "Collusive pricing in markets for vertically differentiated products," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 155-177, June.
  3. Qihong Liu & Konstantinos Serfes, 2002. "Quality of Information and Oligopolistic Price Discrimination," Industrial Organization 0207007, EconWPA.
  4. Hurter, Arthur Jr & Lederer, Phillip J., 1985. "Spatial duopoly with discriminatory pricing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 541-553, November.
  5. HAMILTON, Jonathan H. & THISSE, Jacques-François & WESKAMP, Anita, . "Spatial discrimination. Bertrand vs. Cournot in a model of location choice," CORE Discussion Papers RP 846, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Chang, Myong-Hun, 1992. "Intertemporal Product Choice and Its Effects on Collusive Firm Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 773-93, November.
  7. HAMILTON, Jonathan & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Duopoly with spatial and quantity-dependent price discrimination," CORE Discussion Papers RP 998, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Ross, Thomas W., 1992. "Cartel stability and product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-13, March.
  9. Chang, Myong-Hun, 1991. "The effects of product differentiation on collusive pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 453-469, September.
  10. Deneckere, R., 1983. "Duopoly supergames with product differentiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 37-42.
  11. Lederer, Phillip J & Hurter, Arthur P, Jr, 1986. "Competition of Firms: Discriminatory Pricing and Location," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 623-40, May.
  12. Hackner, Jonas, 1995. "Endogenous product design in an infinitely repeated game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 277-299.
  13. Stefano Colombo, 2009. "Sustainability of collusion with imperfect price discrimination and inelastic demand functions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 1687-1694.
  14. Albaek, Svend & Lambertini, Luca, 1998. "Collusion in differentiated duopolies revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 305-308, June.
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