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Competitive Market Segmentation

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  • Silvio Sticher

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvio Sticher, 2013. "Competitive Market Segmentation," Diskussionsschriften dp1313, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  • Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1313
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-562, Winter.
    2. Robert B. Barsky & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2003. "What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private-Label Products Tell Us about Markups?," NBER Chapters,in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 165-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
    4. 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.
    5. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 550-569, October.
    8. Bonatti, Alessandro, 2011. "Brand-specific tastes for quality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 562-575, September.
    9. 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;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 24(2), pages 195-218, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    price differentiation; vertical competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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