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Profitability, uncertainty and multi-product firm product proliferation: The Spanish car industry

Author

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  • Xosé-Luís Varela-Irimia

    (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

Abstract

This article studies how product introduction decisions relate to profitability and uncertainty in the context of multi-product firms and product differentiation. These two features, common to many modern industries, have not received much attention in the literature as compared to the classical problem of firm entry, even if the determinants of firm and product entry are quite different. The theoretical predictions about the sign of the impact of uncertainty on product entry are not conclusive. Therefore, an econometric model relating firms’ product introduction decisions with profitability and profit uncertainty is proposed. Firm’s estimated profits are obtained from a structural model of product demand and supply, and uncertainty is proxied by profits’ variance. The empirical analysis is carried out using data on the Spanish car industry for the period 1990-2000. The results show a positive relationship between product introduction and profitability, and a negative one with respect to profit variability. Interestingly, the degree of uncertainty appears to be a driving force of entry stronger than profitability, suggesting that the product proliferation process in the Spanish car market may have been mainly a consequence of lower uncertainty rather than the result of having a more profitable market

Suggested Citation

  • Xosé-Luís Varela-Irimia, 2012. "Profitability, uncertainty and multi-product firm product proliferation: The Spanish car industry," Working Papers XREAP2012-16, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Sep 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrp:wpaper:xreap2012-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Anna Castañer & Mª Mercè Claramunt, 2014. "Optimal stop-loss reinsurance: a dependence analysis," Working Papers XREAP2014-04, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Apr 2014.
    3. Esther-Vayá & José-Ramón-García & Joaquim-Murillo & Javier-Romaní & Jordi-Suriñach, 2016. "“Economic Impact of Cruise Activity: The Port of Barcelona"," IREA Working Papers 201613, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2016.
    4. Mercedes Ayuso & Montserrat Guillen & Jens Perch Nielsen, 2019. "Improving automobile insurance ratemaking using telematics: incorporating mileage and driver behaviour data," Transportation, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 735-752, June.
    5. Antonio Manresa & Ferran Sancho, 2012. "Leontief versus Ghosh: two faces of the same coin," Working Papers XREAP2012-18, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2012.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Product introduction; entry; uncertainty; multiproduct firms; automobile.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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