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Competitive Market Segmentation

  • Silvio Sticher
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    In a two-firm model where each firm sells a high-quality and a low-quality version of a product, customers differ with respect to their brand preferences and their attitudes towards quality. We show that the standard result of quality-independent markups crucially depends on the assumption that the customers' valuation of quality is identical across firms. Once we relax this assumption, competition across qualities leads to second-degree price discrimination. We find that markups on low-quality products are higher if consuming a low-quality product involves a firm-specific disutility. Likewise, markups on high-quality products are higher if consuming a high-quality product creates a firm-specific surplus.

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    File URL: http://www.vwl.unibe.ch/papers/dp/dp1313.pdf
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    Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp1313.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1313
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    1. George Deltas & Thanasis Stengos & Eleftherios Zacharias, 2011. "Product line pricing in a vertically differentiated oligopoly," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(3), pages 907-929, August.
    2. Robert Barsky & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2002. "What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private Label Products Tell Us about Markups?," Working Papers 2002-02, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    3. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Stole, Lars A, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311, January.
    4. André Bonfrer & Pradeep K. Chintagunta, 2004. "Store Brands: Who Buys Them and What Happens to Retail Prices When They Are Introduced?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 195-218, 03.
    5. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
    6. Verboven, Frank, 1999. "Product Line Rivalry and Market Segmentation--With an Application to Automobile Optional Engine Pricing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 399-425, December.
    7. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
    8. Barron, John M & Taylor, Beck A & Umbeck, John R, 2000. "A Theory of Quality-Related Differences in Retail Margins: Why There Is a "Premium" on Premium Gasoline," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(4), pages 550-69, October.
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