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Exchange Rates and Product Variety

Author

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  • Witness Simbanegavi

Abstract

We study the role of exchange rate variability in the firm's choice of whether to o¤er one or two varieties. We show that variability induces the firm to vertically segment markets (offer two varieties). This happens because variability in the exchange rate a¤ects income dispersion and hence the firm's incentives to extract consumer surplus. To better extract surplus, the firm offers two price-quality menus, a high quality variant geared for top-end surplus extraction and a low quality variant to address market coverage concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Witness Simbanegavi, 2007. "Exchange Rates and Product Variety," Working Papers 60, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:60
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    File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/85
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jaskold Gabszewicz, Jean & Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1986. "Segmenting the market: The monopolist's optimal product mix," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 273-289, August.
    2. Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold, 1983. "Blue and Red Cars, or Blue Cars Only? A Note on Product Variety," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(198), pages 203-206, May.
    3. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    4. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1987. "Exchange Rates and Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 93-106, March.
    5. Friberg, Richard, 2001. "Two monies, two markets?: Variability and the option to segment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 317-327, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Harald Badinger, 2012. "Die Auswirkungen des Euro auf den Außenhandel der EU und Österreichs," FIW Policy Brief series 015, FIW.
    2. Harald Badinger & Kemal Türkcan, 2014. "Currency Unions, Export Margins, and Product Differentiation: An Empirical Assessment for European Monetary Union," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 13-30, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    exchange rate variability; income dispersion; surplus extraction; product variety;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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