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Versioning, Brand-Stretching, and the Evolution of e-Commerce Markets

Author

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  • George Norman
  • Lynne Pepall
  • Dan Richards

Abstract

This paper offers an analysis of the evolution of e-commerce markets. We develop a model in which an initial group of small, no-name click firms create such markets by offering horizontally differentiated customized or versioned products and competing in prices. Subsequently, a traditional brick firm enters by stretching its brand name into the digital marketplace. Such entry causes many initial entrants to exit. Contrary to much popular and formal literature, we show that the volume of initial entry may well be inefficiently low despite the anticipated later exit. In addition, the conventional relationship between sunk cost and market structure is substantially weakened.

Suggested Citation

  • George Norman & Lynne Pepall & Dan Richards, 2001. "Versioning, Brand-Stretching, and the Evolution of e-Commerce Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0114, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0114
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    File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200114.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Karen Eggleston, 2001. "Multitasking, Competition and Provider Payment," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0101, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    2. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
    3. Drusilla K. Brown, 2001. "Labor Standards: Where Do They Belong on the International Trade Agenda?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 89-112, Summer.
    4. Yannis Ioannides, 2006. "Topologies of social interactions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(3), pages 559-584, August.
    5. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2001. "Impacts on NAFTA Members of Multilateral and Regional Trading Arrangements and Initiatives and Harmonization of NAFTA's External Tariffs," Working Papers 471, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    6. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2001. "CGE Modeling and Analysis of Multilateral and Regional Negotiating Options," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0108, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    7. Chadha, R. & Brown, D.K. & Deardorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 2000. "Computational Analysis of the Impact on India of the Uruguay Round and the Forthcoming WTO Trade Negotiations," Working Papers 459, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    8. Drusilla Brown, 2001. "Child Labour in Latin America: Policy and Evidence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(6), pages 761-778, June.
    9. Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "Neighborhood income distributions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 435-457, November.
    10. Hesham M. Abdel-Rahman & George Norman & Ping Wang, 2001. "Skill Dierentiation and Income Disparity in a Decentralized Matching Model of North-South Trade," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0115, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    11. Ioannides, Yannis M., 2003. "Interactive property valuations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 145-170, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernhardt, Dan & Liu, Qihong & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2007. "Product customization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1396-1422, August.
    2. Elena BADARAU, 2014. "Competition: E-Com Versus Traditional Trade," ECONOMY AND SOCIOLOGY: Theoretical and Scientifical Journal, Socionet;Complexul Editorial "INCE", issue 3, pages 190-200.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    versioning; brand-stretching; price discrimination; market structure;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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