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Dynamics and equilibria under incremental horizontal differentiation on the Salop circle

  • Vermeulen, Ben
  • La Poutré, Han
  • de Kok, Ton

We study product differentiation on a Salop circle when firms relocate incrementally due to bounded rationality. We prove that, under common assumptions on demand, firms relocate only when two or more firms target the same niche. In any other case, there is no incentive for any firm to relocate incrementally. We prove that all distributions in which firms are sufficiently far apart in product space are unstable Nash equilibria. We prove, in particular, that the classical equidistant distribution is an unstable Nash equilibrium that cannot emerge from another distribution. However, we show that if each firm is engaged in head-on rivalry with one other competitor, the industry converges to an ’equidistantesque’ equilibrium of clusters of rivals.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 51449.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:51449
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  11. Tyagi, Rajeev K, 1999. "Pricing Patterns as Outcomes of Product Positions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-57, January.
  12. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
  13. Graitson, Dominique, 1982. "Spatial Competition a la Hotelling: A Selective Survey," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1-2), pages 13-25, September.
  14. Borenstein, Severin & Netz, Janet, 1999. "Why do all the flights leave at 8 am?: Competition and departure-time differentiation in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 611-640, July.
  15. Bockem, Sabine, 1994. "A Generalized Model of Horizontal Product Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 287-98, September.
  16. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On Hotelling's "Stability in competition"," CORE Discussion Papers RP 385, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Economides, Nicholas, 1986. "Minimal and maximal product differentiation in Hotelling's duopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 67-71.
  18. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
  19. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  20. Paul Krugman, 1992. "A Dynamic Spatial Model," NBER Working Papers 4219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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