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

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  • Luciano Fanti
  • Nicola Meccheri

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Luciano Fanti & Nicola Meccheri, 2012. "Profits and competition in a unionized duopoly model with product differentiation and labour decreasing returns," Discussion Papers 2012/133, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2012/133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Naylor, Robin, 1999. "Union Wage Strategies and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 102-125, January.
    2. Mukherjee, Arijit & Pennings, Enrico, 2011. "Unionization structure, licensing and innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 232-241, March.
    3. Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2006. "Differentiated Duopoly with Asymmetric Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 999-1015, December.
    4. Luciano Fanti & Nicola Meccheri, 2011. "The Cournot-Bertrand profit differential in a differentiated duopoly with unions and labour decreasing returns," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 233-244.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
    10. White, Mark D., 1996. "Mixed oligopoly, privatization and subsidization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 189-195, November.
    11. 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 316-344, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fanti, Luciano & Meccheri, Nicola, 2014. "Profits and competition under alternative technologies in a unionized duopoly with product differentiation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 157-168.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unionized duopoly; labour decreasing returns; product differentiation; profits.;

    JEL classification:

    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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