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Profits and competition in a unionized duopoly model with product differentiation and labour decreasing returns

  • Luciano Fanti
  • Nicola Meccheri

In this paper, we aim at investigating if the conventional wisdom, that an increase of competition linked to a decrease in the degree of product differentiation always reduces firms’ profits, remains true in a unionized duopoly model with labour decreasing returns. In this context, mixed results emerge. In particular, we show that a decrease in the degree of product differentiation may affect wages, hence profits, differently, depending on both the mode of competition in the product market Cournot or Bertrand competition) and the particular unionization structure (firm-specific or industry-wide union(s)). Interestingly, it is shown that the conventional wisdom can actually be reversed, even if under Bertrand competition only.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy in its series Discussion Papers with number 2012/133.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2012/133
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  1. Henrick Horn & Asher Wolinsky, 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies and Incentives for Merger," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 408-419, Autumn.
  2. Symeonidis, George, 2010. "Downstream merger and welfare in a bilateral oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 230-243, May.
  3. Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2006. "Differentiated Duopoly with Asymmetric Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 999-1015, December.
  4. Iversen, Torben, 1998. "Wage Bargaining, Central Bank Independence, and the Real Effects of Money," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(03), pages 469-504, June.
  5. Luciano Fanti & Nicola Meccheri, 2010. "The Cournot-Bertrand Profit Differential in a Differentiated Duopoly with Unions and Labour Decreasing Returns," Working Paper Series 36_10, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  6. Naylor, Robin, 1999. "Union Wage Strategies and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 102-25, January.
  7. Dowrick, Steve & Spencer, Barbara J, 1994. "Union Attitudes to Labor-Saving Innovation: When Are Unions Luddites?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 316-44, April.
  8. Arijit Mukherjee & Enrico Pennings, 2005. "Unionization Structure, Licensing and Innovation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-109/4, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. John S. Heywood & Matthew Mcginty, 2007. "Convex Costs And The Merger Paradox Revisited," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 342-349, 04.
  10. White, Mark D., 1996. "Mixed oligopoly, privatization and subsidization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 189-195, November.
  11. Petrakis, Emmanuel & Vlassis, Minas, 2000. "Endogenous scope of bargaining in a union-oligopoly model: when will firms and unions bargain over employment?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 261-281, May.
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