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The Socially Responsible Choice in a Duopolistic Market: a Dynamic Model of "Ethical Product" Differentiation

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Abstract

The increasing attention of profit maximising corporations to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a new stylized fact of the contemporary economic environment. In our theoretical analysis we model CSR adoption as the optimal response of a profit maximising firm to the competition of a not for profit corporate pioneer in presence of a continuum of consumers with heterogeneous preferences toward the social and environmental features of the final good. CSR adoption implies a trade-off since, on the one side, it raises production costs but, on the other side, it leads to the accumulation of ethical capital. We investigate conditions under which the profit maximising firm switches from price to price and CSR competition by comparing monopoly and duopoly equilibria and their consequences on aggregate social responsibility and consumers welfare. Our findings provide a theoretical background for competition between profit maximising incumbents and not for profit entrants in markets such as fair trade, organic food, ethical banking and ethical finance.

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  • Leonardo Becchetti & Arsen Palestini & Nazaria Solferino & M.Elisabetta Tessitore, 2013. "The Socially Responsible Choice in a Duopolistic Market: a Dynamic Model of "Ethical Product" Differentiation," CEIS Research Paper 268, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 29 Mar 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:268
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    1. Giacomo Degli Antoni & Lorenzo Sacconi, 2011. "Does virtuous circle between social capital and CSR exist? A �network of games� model and some empirical evidence," Department of Economics Working Papers 1103, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Ciciretti, Rocco & Giovannelli, Alessandro, 2013. "Corporate social responsibility and earnings forecasting unbiasedness," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3654-3668.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lambertini, Luca & Tampieri, Alessandro, 2015. "Incentives, performance and desirability of socially responsible firms in a Cournot oligopoly," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 40-48.
    2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Solferino, Nazaria & Tessitore, Maria Elisabetta, 2014. "A dynamic model of Gambling addiction with social costs: theory and policy solutions," AICCON Working Papers 133-2014, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    3. Solferino, Nazaria & Solferino, Viviana, 2016. "The Corporate Social Responsibility is just a twist in a Möbius strip," Economics Discussion Papers 2016-12, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Marlene Karl, 2015. "Are Ethical and Social Banks Less Risky? Evidence from a New Dataset," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1484, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Nollet, Joscha & Filis, George & Mitrokostas, Evangelos, 2016. "Corporate social responsibility and financial performance: A non-linear and disaggregated approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 400-407.
    6. repec:spr:epolit:v:34:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s40888-016-0051-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Nazaria Solferino & Viviana Solferino, 2015. "The Corporate Social Responsibility is just a twist in a M\"obius Strip," Papers 1510.03398, arXiv.org.
    8. repec:eee:jbrese:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:206-219 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Leonardo Becchetti & Nazaria Solferino & M. Tessitore, 2015. "How to safeguard world heritage sites? A theoretical model of “cultural responsibility”," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 62(3), pages 223-248, September.
    10. You-Hua Chen & Xiao-Wei Wen & Ming-Zhong Luo, 2016. "Corporate Social Responsibility Spillover and Competition Effects on the Food Industry," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-13, March.
    11. Solferino, Nazaria & Solferino, Viviana, 2016. "The corporate social responsibility is just a twist in a Möbius strip," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-24.
    12. Alessandro FEDELE & Sara DE PEDRI, 2016. "In Medio Stat Virtus: Does A Mixed Economy Increase Welfare?," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(3), pages 345-363, December.
    13. Marlene Karl, 2015. "Are ethical and social banks less risky? Evidence from a new dataset," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 96, WWWforEurope.
    14. Solferin, Nazaria & Solferino, Viviana, 2015. "The Corporate Social Responsibility is just a twist in a Möbius Strip," AICCON Working Papers 142-2015, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    15. Okimoto, Madoka, 2015. "International price competition among food industries: The role of income, population and biased consumer preference," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 327-339.
    16. Lopez Arceiz, Francisco & Solferino, Nazaria & Solferino, Viviana & Tortia, Ermanno C., 2016. "Corporate social responsibility is just a twist in a Möbius Strip: An empirical test on Italian cooperatives," MPRA Paper 74776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Shen, Na & Su, Jun, 2015. "A comparison of different contract forms for consumers with switching costs and changed preferences," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 19-26.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mixed Duopoly; Horizontal Differentiation; Corporate Social Responsibility;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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