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Heterogeneous Preferences and Location Choice with Multi-Product Firms

  • Darlene Chisholm
  • George Norman

This paper investigates whether the principle of minimum differentiation extends to the location choices of multi-product firms of different sizes supplying differentiated goods to consumers with heterogeneous tastes. Our analysis explicitly allows for the possibility that the resulting location equilibria will be asymmetric, and we compare the multiproduct equilibria with the location configurations that would arise if each outlet were operated by a single-product firm. We show that multi-product firms disperse their products if consumer heterogeneity is low or distance between markets is high. They adopt more dispersed locations than single product firms to limit business stealing from their own outlets. Asymmetry is shown to characterize location configurations of both multi-product and single-product firms.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200205.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0205.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0205
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  1. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1992. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 261-76, September.
  2. Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Weskamp, Anita, 1989. "Spatial discrimination : Bertrand vs. Cournot in a model of location choice," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 87-102, February.
  3. Hummels, David & Levinsohn, James A, 1993. "Product Differentiation as a," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 445-49, May.
  4. B.Curtis Eaton & Richard G. Lipsey, 1972. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Reconsidered: Some New Developments in the Theory of Spatial Competition," Working Papers 87, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Victor Ginsburgh & André De Palma & Yorgo Papageorgiou & Jacques-François Thisse, 1999. "The principle of minimum differentiation holds under sufficient heterogeneity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/3319, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Martinez-Giralt, Xavier & Neven, Damien J, 1988. "Can Price Competition Dominate Market Segmentation?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 431-42, June.
  7. Norman, George, 2002. "The relative advantages of flexible versus designated manufacturing technologies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 419-445, July.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521315647 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Pal, Debashis & Sarkar, Jyotirmoy, 2002. "Spatial competition among multi-store firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 163-190, February.
  10. Anderson, Simon P & Neven, Damien J, 1991. "Cournot Competition Yields Spatial Agglomeration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 793-808, November.
  11. James Brander & Jonathan Eaton, 1982. "Product Line Rivalry," Working Papers 519, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Hamilton, J.H. & Macleod, W.P. & Thisse, J.F., 1988. "Spatial Competition And The Core," Papers 88-6, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  13. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  14. Borenstein, Severin & Netz, Janet, 1999. "Why do all the flights leave at 8 am?: Competition and departure-time differentiation in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 611-640, July.
  15. Braid, Ralph M., 1988. "Heterogeneous preferences and non-central agglomeration of firms," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-68, February.
  16. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  17. Darlene C. Chisholm & George Norman, 2002. "Spatial Competition and Demand: An Application to Motion Pictures," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0216, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  18. George Norman & Lynne Pepall, 2000. "Profitable Mergers in a Cournot Model of Spatial Competition," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 667-681, January.
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