IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

When does Variety increase with Quality?

  • Suren Basov


    (School of Economics, La Trobe University)

  • Svetlana Danilkina


    (The University of Melbourne)

  • David Prentice


    (School of Economics, La Trobe University)

Casual empiricism suggests higher quality is associated with greater variety. However, recent theoretical and empirical research has either not considered this link, or has been unable to establish unambiguous predictions about the relationship between quality and variety. In this paper we develop a simple model which predicts that for low qualities variety should be positively correlated with quality and we establish conditions under which variety will either increase or decrease with quality at higher quality levels. The monopolist uses variety to increase the profitability of price discrimination across product lines of different qualities, by increasing the likelihood consumers choose high price products among products yielding the same utility. We show that the number of varieties offered by the monopolist is greater than the social optimum. The predictions of the model are supported by an analysis of the market for cars. A wide range of car manufacturers are found to offer a hump-shaped distribution of varieties.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2008.04.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, La Trobe University in its series Working Papers with number 2008.04.

in new window

Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trb:wpaper:2008.04
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fudenberg, D. & Harris, C., 1992. "Evolutionary dynamics with aggregate shocks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 420-441, August.
  2. Steven M. Shugan, 1989. "Product Assortment in a Triopoly," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 304-320, March.
  3. Michaela Draganska & Dipak C. Jain, 2005. "Product-Line Length as a Competitive Tool," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, 03.
  4. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  5. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  6. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945, June.
  7. Basov Suren, 2003. "Incentives for Boundedly Rational Agents," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-16, June.
  8. Suren Basov, 2009. "Monopolistic Screening with Boundedly Rational Consumers," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(s1), pages S29-S34, 09.
  9. Simon P. Anderson & Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2004. "Noisy Directional Learning and the Logit Equilibrium," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 581-602, October.
  10. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, July.
  11. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-57, May.
  12. Machina, Mark J, 1985. "Stochastic Choice Functions Generated from Deterministic Preferences over Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 575-94, September.
  13. Neven, D. & Thisse, J-F., 1989. "On Quality And Variety Competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1989020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  15. Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 2007. "The Pure Characteristics Demand Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1193-1225, November.
  16. Michaela Draganska & Dipak C. Jain, 2006. "Consumer Preferences and Product-Line Pricing Strategies: An Empirical Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 164-174, 03-04.
  17. Kelvin Lancaster, 1990. "The Economics of Product Variety: A Survey," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(3), pages 189-206.
  18. Josef Hofbauer & William H. Sandholm, 2002. "On the Global Convergence of Stochastic Fictitious Play," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2265-2294, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:trb:wpaper:2008.04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Scoglio)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Stephen Scoglio to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.