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On Product Differentiation and Profits in Unionized Duopolies

Author

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  • Luciano Fanti

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pisa, Italy)

  • Nicola Meccheri

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pisa, Italy)

Abstract

This work aims to investigate if the conventional wisdom, that a decrease in the degree of product differentiation always reduces firms' profits, remains true in a differentiated duopoly model with decentralized, or firm-specific, monopoly unions. It is shown that, provided that unions are sufficiently wage-oriented, that is, they sufficiently prefer wages to employment, the conventional result can actually be reversed under both Cournot and Bertrand competition, implying that incentives for firms towards less differentiation may arise. Moreover, the range of product differentiation values, for which the "reversal result" applies, is larger when firms compete in quantities than in prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Luciano Fanti & Nicola Meccheri, 2011. "On Product Differentiation and Profits in Unionized Duopolies," Working Paper series 37_11, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:37_11
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lopez, Monica Correa & Naylor, Robin A., 2004. "The Cournot-Bertrand profit differential: A reversal result in a differentiated duopoly with wage bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 681-696, June.
    2. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1990. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 45-62, Spring.
    3. Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2006. "Differentiated Duopoly with Asymmetric Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 999-1015, December.
    4. Naylor, Robin A., 2002. "Industry profits and competition under bilateral oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 169-175, October.
    5. Dhillon, Amrita & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2002. "A generalised wage rigidity result," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 285-311, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Naylor, Robin, 1998. "International trade and economic integration when labour markets are generally unionised," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1251-1267, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unionized duopoly; 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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