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Text-Based Network Industries and Endogenous Product Differentiation

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  • Gerard Hoberg
  • Gordon M. Phillips

Abstract

We study how firms differ from their competitors using new time-varying measures of product differentiation based on text-based analysis of product descriptions from 50,673 firm 10-K statements filed yearly with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This year-by-year set of product differentiation measures allows us to generate a new set of industries and corresponding new measures of industry competition where firms can have their own distinct set of competitors. Our new sets of industry competitors better explain specific discussion of high competition by management, rivals identified by managers as peer firms and firm characteristics such as profitability and leverage than do existing classifications. We also find evidence that firm R&D and advertising are associated with subsequent differentiation from competitors, consistent with theories of endogenous product differentiation.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard Hoberg & Gordon M. Phillips, 2010. "Text-Based Network Industries and Endogenous Product Differentiation," NBER Working Papers 15991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15991
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francis, Bill & Hasan, Iftekhar & Mani, Sureshbabu & Ye, Pengfei, 2016. "Relative peer quality and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 196-219.
    2. Albuquerque, Rui & Durnev, Artyom & Koskinen, Yrjö, 2013. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Risk: Theory and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9533, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Gerard Hoberg & Gordon M. Phillips, 2011. "Conglomerate Industry Choice and Product Differentiation," NBER Working Papers 17221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Manela, Asaf & Moreira, Alan, 2017. "News implied volatility and disaster concerns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 137-162.
    5. Xi Zhang & Jiawei Shi & Di Wang & Binxing Fang, 2018. "Exploiting Investors Social Network for Stock Prediction in China's Market," Papers 1801.00597, arXiv.org.
    6. Green, T. Clifton & Jame, Russell, 2013. "Company name fluency, investor recognition, and firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 813-834.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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