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Product lines and price discrimination in the European car market

  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • Shlomo Weber

In this paper we consider a model of oligopolistic competition where firms make a two-dimensional product line decision. They choose a location in style space, thus inducing horizontal differentiation, and produce different qualities (a product line) of a given good (vertical differentiation), consumed by a population of customers who differ in their income and preference for style. We prove the existence of a non-cooperative equilibrium and show that, as the degree of competition increases, prices approach marginal cost. The approach is used to show that European car producers seem indeed to use product lines to discriminate across EU countries. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/1689.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: The Manchester School (2002) v.70,p.101-114
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/1689
Contact details of provider: Postal: CP135, 50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles
Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

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  1. James Brander & Jonathan Eaton, 1982. "Product Line Rivalry," Working Papers 519, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  3. Victor Ginsburgh & Geneviève Vanhamme, 1989. "Price differences in the EC car market: some further results," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1737, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Richard J. Gilbert and Carmen Matutes., 1989. "Product Line Rivalry with Brand Differentiation," Economics Working Papers 89-103, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  6. Victor Ginsburgh & Yves Mertens, 1985. "Product differentiation and discrimination in the European Community: the case of automobiles," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1755, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Mertens, Yves & Ginsburgh, Victor, 1985. "Product Differentiation and Price Discrimination in the European Community: The Case of Automobiles," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 151-66, December.
  8. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 1998. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," NBER Working Papers 6481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  10. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  11. Horstmann, Ignatius & Slivinski, Alan, 1985. "Location models as models of product choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 367-386, August.
  12. Novshek, William, 1980. "Equilibrium in simple spatial (or differentiated product) models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 313-326, April.
  13. Frank Verboven, 1996. "International Price Discrimination in the European Car Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 240-268, Summer.
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