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Product Differentiation in Successive Vertical Oligopolies

  • Paul Belleflamme

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Eric Toulemonde

    (University of Namur)

This is a successive oligopoly model with two brands. Each downstream firm chooses one brand to sell on a final market. The upstream firms specialize in the production of one input specifically designed for the production of one brand, but they also produce the input for the other brand at an extra cost. We show that when more downstream firms choose one brand, more upstream firms will specialize in the input specific to that brand, and vice versa. Hence, multiple equilibria are possible and the softening effect of brand differentiation on competition might not be strong enough to induce maximal differentiation. The existence of equilibria and their welfare performance are also examined.

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File URL: http://www.econ.qmul.ac.uk/papers/doc/wp421.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 421.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp421
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  1. Eaton, B Curtis & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1994. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 875-88, September.
  2. S. P. Anderson & A. de Palma, 1997. "From local to global competition," THEMA Working Papers 97-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. NORMAN, George & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1996. "Technology choice and market structure : strategic aspects of flexible manufacturing," CORE Discussion Papers 1996059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1992. "Compatibility and Bundling of Complementary Goods in a Duopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 37-54, March.
  5. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Desirability of Compatibility in the Absence of Network Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1165-81, December.
  6. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  7. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1990. "Competition and Human Capital Accumulation: A Theory of Interregional Specialization and Trade," NBER Working Papers 3228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael A. Einhorn, 1992. "Mix and Match Compatibility with Vertical Product Dimensions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 535-547, Winter.
  9. Alford, Dave & Sackett, Peter & Nelder, Geoff, 2000. "Mass customisation -- an automotive perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 99-110, April.
  10. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
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