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Equilibrium Demand Elasticities across Quality Segments

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  • Olivier Coibion

    (University of Michigan)

  • Liran Einav

    (Stanford University)

  • Juan Carlos Hallak

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Empirical studies find substantial differences in demand elasticities and associated markups among products of different quality. This paper analyzes the theoretical determinants of such variation. We present a simple model that allows for horizontal and vertical differentiation and accounts for endogenous entry. We find that most economic forces in our model, such as consumers’ price sensitivity, the scope for product differentiation, and sunk costs of entry, are likely to induce lower equilibrium demand elasticities for higher quality products. In contrast, other economic forces, such as marginal cost of production and the distribution (across consumers) of the willingness to pay for quality, may induce the opposite pattern. These results provide an organizing framework through which empirical findings may be interpreted, and may also help to predict variation in demand elasticities for markets in which empirical estimates of elasticities are unavailable or infeasible to obtain.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Coibion & Liran Einav & Juan Carlos Hallak, 2006. "Equilibrium Demand Elasticities across Quality Segments," Working Papers 550, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:550
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    File URL: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers526-550/r550.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2011. "Revisiting Overborrowing and its Policy Implications," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia (ed.), Monetary Policy under Financial Turbulence, edition 1, volume 16, chapter 6, pages 145-184 Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Cristiana & Teodora Borota, 2011. "World Trade Patterns and Prices: The Role of Productivity and Quality Heterogeneity," Working papers 19, National Bank of Serbia.
    3. Markusen, James R., 2013. "Putting per-capita income back into trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 255-265.
    4. Benedetti Fasil, Cristiana & Borota, Teodora, 2013. "World trade patterns and prices: The role of productivity and quality heterogeneity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 68-81.
    5. Namrata Gulati & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2010. "Income inequality, neighbourhood effects and product quality," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 10-06, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
    6. Fabian Bergès & Daniel Hassan & Sylvette Monier-Dilhan, 2013. "Are Consumers More Loyal To National Brands Than To Private Labels?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65, pages 1-16, May.
    7. Lévay, Petra Zsuzsa & Drossinos, Yannis & Thiel, Christian, 2017. "The effect of fiscal incentives on market penetration of electric vehicles: A pairwise comparison of total cost of ownership," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 524-533.
    8. Qiang Gong & Qihong Liu & Yi Zhang, 2016. "Optimal product differentiation in a circular model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 119(3), pages 219-252, November.

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