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Product Differentiation with Consumer Arbitrage

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  • Aguirre Pérez, Iñaki
  • Espinosa Alejos, María Paz

Abstract

We analyze the consequences of consumers behavior concerning personal arbitrage in a spatial discrimination context where firms know the consumers distribution but cannot distinguish them by location. The firms' equilibrium pricing policies provide incentives for consumers not to demand their preferred varieties of products but rather to purchase more standard varieties. This behavior may explain a decrease in observed market diversity: the demanded varieties tend to agglomerate around the center of the market. We also deal with efficiency in the presence of personal arbitrage and show that it is efficient that the cost of adapting the product to the consumers needs be shared through arbitrage, but oligopoly gives rise to an inefficient level of personal arbitrage.

Suggested Citation

  • Aguirre Pérez, Iñaki & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz, 2003. "Product Differentiation with Consumer Arbitrage," BILTOKI 2003-04, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Economía Aplicada III (Econometría y Estadística).
  • Handle: RePEc:ehu:biltok:5721
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Biscaia & Isabel Mota, 2013. "Models of spatial competition: A critical review," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(4), pages 851-871, November.
    2. Torbenko, A., 2015. "Linear City Models: Overview and Typology," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 12-38.
    3. Sibly, Hugh, 2010. "Non-Linear Pricing with Homogeneous Customers and Limited Unbundling," Working Papers 10448, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, revised 01 Aug 2010.
    4. Sallstrom Matthews, S.E., 2007. "The Principle of Moderate Differentiation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0720, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. repec:eee:indorg:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:137-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Georgia Kosmopoulou & Qihong Liu & Jie Shuai, 2016. "Customer poaching and coupon trading," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 219-238, July.
    7. Hong Hwang & Yan-Shu Lin & Chao-Cheng Mai, 2007. "Spatial pricing, optimal location and social welfare with consumer arbitrage," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 41(3), pages 619-638, September.
    8. Hugh Sibly, 2017. "Pricing Strategies with Costly Customer Arbitrage," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 50(3), pages 345-366, May.
    9. Jen-Te Yao & Fu-Chuan Lai, 2006. "Incentive consistency and the choice of a spatial pricing mode," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 40(3), pages 583-601, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    spatial price discrimination; product differentiation; personal arbitrage;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis

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