The effect of satellite entry on product quality for cable television
In vertically differentiated markets, the effects of firm entry are contingent upon whether incumbent firms can respond to entry by adjusting product quality in addition to simply lowering prices. Using market-level data, I estimate a structural model of supply and demand for subscription television that takes into account the endogeneity of quality choice. Using counterfactual analysis, I decompose the effect of satellite entry on existing cable into two components: the conventional price response and the effect of endogenous quality adjustments (measured by changes in programming content). Consistent with the empirical observation that cable prices rose during the 1990s and early 2000s "in spite of" increasing competition, I find that raising both price and quality for the most comprehensive subscription package--i.e., competing "head-to-head"--is the rational response to entry by cable systems in markets with relatively homogeneous consumer types. Elsewhere, incumbents respond less aggressively and relegate themselves to being the low-end provider. When an entrant credibly commits to serving consumers with the highest preferences for quality, competition over both price and quality lowers the welfare gains due to entry, relative to pure price competition. In particular, head-to-head competition results in "crowding" of quality choices toward the high end of the market and inefficiently low product differentiation. In such cases, consumers with weak quality preferences may actually become worse off following entry. The evidence also suggests that the observed degradation of the lowest-quality cable tier in many markets during this time period--while commonly seen as an attempt to evade price regulation--may actually have been welfare-enhancing.
|Date of creation:||2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/fedsorder.html|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrew Cohen & Michael J. Mazzeo, 2004. "Competition, product differentiation and quality provision: an empirical equilibrium analysis of bank branching decisions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Crawford, Gregory S & Shum, Matthew, 2007. "Monopoly Quality Degradation and Regulation in Cable Television," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 181-219, February.
- Austan Goolsbee & Amil Petrin, 2004. "The Consumer Gains from Direct Broadcast Satellites and the Competition with Cable TV," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 351-381, 03.
- repec:reg:rpubli:169 is not listed on IDEAS
- Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002.
"Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
- Julie Holland Mortimer, 2007.
"Price Discrimination, Copyright Law, and Technological Innovation: Evidence From The Introduction of DVDs,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1307-1350, 08.
- Mortimer, Julie Holland, 2007. "Price Discrimination, Copyright Law, and Technological Innovation: Evidence From The Introduction of DVDs," Scholarly Articles 3425914, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Julie Holland Mortimer, 2005. "Price Discrimination, Copyright Law, and Technological Innovation: Evidence from the Introduction of DVDs," NBER Working Papers 11676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stennek, Johan, 2007. "Exclusive Quality - Why Exclusive Distribution may Benefit the TV-viewers," Working Paper Series 691, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Corts, Kenneth S, 1995. "Regulation of a Multi-product Monopolist: Effects on Pricing and Bundling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 377-97, December.
- David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2004.
"On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design,"
Economics Series Working Papers
185, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
- Gregory Crawford, 2008. "The discriminatory incentives to bundle in the cable television industry," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 41-78, March.
- Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
- Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
- Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2008-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.