IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nip/nipewp/21-2009.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Price and quality in spatial competition

Author

Abstract

We study the relationship between competition and quality within a spatial competition framework where firms compete in prices and quality. We generalise existing literature on spatial price-quality competition along several dimensions, including utility functions that are non-linear in income and cost functions that are non-separable in output and quality. Our main message is that the scope for a positive relationship between competition and quality is underestimated in the existing literature. If we allow for income effects by assuming that utility is strictly concave in income, we find that lower transportation costs always lead to higher quality. The presence of income effects might also reverse a previously reported negative relationship between the number of firms and equilibrium quality. This reversal result is further strenghtened if there are cost substitutabilities between output and quality. Equilibrium quality provision is always less than socially optimal in the presence of income effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2009. "Price and quality in spatial competition," NIPE Working Papers 21/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:21/2009
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/docs/2009/NIPE_WP_21_2009.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ching-to Ma & James Burgess, 1993. "Quality competition, welfare, and regulation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 153-173, June.
    2. Degryse, Hans & Irmen, Andreas, 2001. "Attribute dependence and the provision of quality," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 547-569, September.
    3. Wauthy, Xavier, 1996. "Quality Choice in Models of Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 345-353, September.
    4. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-562, Winter.
    5. Domberger, Simon & Hall, Christine & Li, Eric Ah Lik, 1995. "The Determinants of Price and Quality in Competitively Tendered Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1454-1470, November.
    6. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-557, May.
    7. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1996. "Product line competition in vertically differentiated markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 389-414, May.
    8. David Dranove & Mark Shanley & Carol Simon, 1992. "Is Hospital Competition Wasteful?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 247-262, Summer.
    9. Asher Wolinsky, 1997. "Regulation of Duopoly: Managed Competition vs Regulated Monopolies," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 821-847, December.
    10. Brekke, Kurt R. & Nuscheler, Robert & Straume, Odd Rune, 2007. "Gatekeeping in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 149-170, January.
    11. Motta, Massimo, 1993. "Endogenous Quality Choice: Price vs. Quantity Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 113-131, June.
    12. Spulber, Daniel F., 1989. "Product variety and competitive discounts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 510-525, August.
    13. Jean Marie Abraham & Martin Gaynor & William B. Vogt, 2007. "Entry And Competition In Local Hospital Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 265-288, June.
    14. Tay, Abigail, 2003. " Assessing Competition in Hospital Care Markets: The Importance of Accounting for Quality Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(4), pages 786-814, Winter.
    15. Martin Gaynor, "undated". "What Do We Know About Competition and Quality in Health Care Markets?," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E62, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    16. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark B. McClellan, 2000. "Is Hospital Competition Socially Wasteful?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 577-615.
    17. Swan, Peter L, 1970. "Durability of Consumption Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 884-894, December.
    18. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    19. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    20. Propper, Carol & Burgess, Simon & Green, Katherine, 2004. "Does competition between hospitals improve the quality of care?: Hospital death rates and the NHS internal market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1247-1272, July.
    21. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-1150, September.
    22. Rachel E. Kranton, 2003. "Competition and the Incentive to Produce High Quality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 385-404, August.
    23. Kurt R. Brekke & Robert Nuscheler & Odd Rune Straume, 2006. "Quality and Location Choices under Price Regulation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 207-227, March.
    24. Rajiv D. Banker & Inder Khosla & Kingshuk K. Sinha, 1998. "Quality and Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1179-1192, September.
    25. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
    26. Domberger, Simon & Sherr, Avrom, 1989. "The impact of competition on pricing and quality of legal services," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 41-56, June.
    27. Salvanes, Kjell G. & Steen, Frode & Sorgard, Lars, 2005. "Hotelling in the air? Flight departures in Norway," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 193-213, March.
    28. Carol Propper & Simon Burgess & Denise Gossage, 2008. "Competition and Quality: Evidence from the NHS Internal Market 1991-9," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 138-170, January.
    29. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1980. "Entry (and exit) in a differentiated industry," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 327-338, April.
    30. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
    31. Nazmi Sari, 2002. "Do competition and managed care improve quality?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(7), pages 571-584.
    32. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2010. "Product Quality And Market Size," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 1-31, March.
    33. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
    34. Michael Mazzeo, 2003. "Competition and Service Quality in the U.S. Airline Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 22(4), pages 275-296, June.
    35. Astrid A. Dick, 2007. "Market Size, Service Quality, and Competition in Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(1), pages 49-81, February.
    36. Gravelle, Hugh, 1999. "Capitation contracts: access and quality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 315-340, June.
    37. Arora, Ashish & Forman, Chris & Nandkumar, Anand & Telang, Rahul, 2010. "Competition and patching of security vulnerabilities: An empirical analysis," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 164-177, May.
    38. Richard Schmalensee, 1974. "Market Structure, Durability, and Maintenance Effort," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 277-287.
    39. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
    40. Economides, Nicholas, 1993. "Quality variations in the circular model of variety-differentiated products," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 235-257, April.
    41. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-1483, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial competition; Quality; Income effects.;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:21/2009. 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: (NIPE). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nipampt.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.