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The Max-Min-Min Principle of Product Differentiation

Author

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  • Asim Ansari

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University)

  • Nicholas Economides

    (Stern School of Business, New York University)

  • Joel Steckel

    (Stern School of Business, New York University)

Abstract

We analyze two and three-dimensional variants of Hotelling's model of differentiated products. In our setup, consumers can place different importance on each product attribute; this is measured by a weight in the disutility of distance in each dimension. Two firms play a two-stage game; they choose locations in stage 1 and prices in stage 2. We seek subgame-perfect equilibria. We find that all such equilibria have maximal differentiation in one dimension only; in all other dimensions, they have minimum differentiation. An equilibrium with maximal differentiation in a certain dimension occurs when consumers place sufficient importance (weight) on that attribute. Thus, depending on the importance consumers place on each attribute, in two dimensions there is a max-min equilibrium, a min-max equilibrium, or both. In three dimensions, depending on the weights, there can be a max-min-min equilibrium, a min-max-min equilibrium, a min-min-max equilibrium, any two of them, or all three.

Suggested Citation

  • Asim Ansari & Nicholas Economides & Joel Steckel, 1997. "The Max-Min-Min Principle of Product Differentiation," Industrial Organization 9702001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9702001
    Note: Type of Document - PDF/PostScript; prepared on IBM; to print on HP; pages: 36; figures: included at the end. forthcoming, Journal of Regional Science (1997)
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Luc Demeulemeester & Olivier Debande, 2008. "Quality and Variety Competition in Higher Education," Working Papers 08-10, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    2. Barigozzi, Francesca & Ma, Ching-to Albert, 2018. "Product differentiation with multiple qualities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 380-412.
    3. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
    4. Irmen, Andreas & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1998. "Competition in Multi-characteristics Spaces: Hotelling Was Almost Right," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 76-102, January.
    5. Gilad Sorek, 2015. "Location and Product Choice in Option Demand Markets," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2015-07, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    6. Hans Degryse & Andreas Irmen, 2001. "On the incentives to provide fuel-efficient automobiles," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 149-165, June.
    7. Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2009. "Hotelling's Spatial Competition Reconsidered," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-674, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    8. Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Karamychev, Vladimir A. & van Reeven, Peran, 2005. "Multi-store competition: Market segmentation or interlacing?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 700-714, November.
    9. Bonein, Aurélie & Turolla, Stéphane, 2009. "Sequential location under one-sided demand uncertainty," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 145-159, September.
    10. Suren Basov & Svetlana Danilkina & David Prentice, 2020. "When Does Variety Increase with Quality?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 56(3), pages 463-487, May.
    11. Subhadip Chakrabarti & Hans Haller, 2011. "An Analysis Of Advertising Wars," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(1), pages 100-124, January.
    12. Takagoshi, Noritsugu & Matsubayashi, Nobuo, 2013. "Customization competition between branded firms: Continuous extension of product line from core product," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 225(2), pages 337-352.
    13. Stadler, Manfred, 2018. "Location in a disk city with consumer concentration around the center," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 113, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    14. Graubner, Marten & Balmann, Alfons & Sexton, Richard J., 2011. "Spatial Pricing and the Location of Processors in Agricultural Markets," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114601, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Vishal Gaur & Dorothée Honhon, 2006. "Assortment Planning and Inventory Decisions Under a Locational Choice Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1528-1543, October.
    16. Sorek, Gilad, 2016. "Competition and consumer choice in option demand markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 13-16.
    17. Yogesh V. Joshi & David J. Reibstein & Z. John Zhang, 2016. "Turf Wars: Product Line Strategies in Competitive Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(1), pages 128-141, January.
    18. Tomasz Kopczewski & Maciej Pogorzelski, 2009. "Influence of the size of the company on developing of decision-making process of the enterprise concerning the spatial location," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 23.
    19. Andrea Mangani & Paolo Patelli, 2002. "The Max-Min Principle of Product Differentiation: An Experimental Analysis," LEM Papers Series 2002/05, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    20. Niladri B. Syam & Ranran Ruan & James D. Hess, 2005. "Customized Products: A Competitive Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(4), pages 569-584, February.
    21. Manfred Stadler, 2019. "Location in a Disk City with Consumer Concentration Around the Center," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 71(1), pages 35-50, February.

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