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

  • Xosé-Luís Varela-Irimia

    ()

    (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

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

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File URL: http://www.pcb.ub.edu/xreap/aplicacio/fitxers/XREAP2012-16.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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File URL: http://www.pcb.ub.edu/xreap/aplicacio/fitxers/XREAP2012-16.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2012
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Paper provided by Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP) in its series Working Papers with number XREAP2012-16.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision: Sep 2012
Handle: RePEc:xrp:wpaper:xreap2012-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques i Empresarials, Universitat de Barcelona, c/ Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, 1-11, 08034 Barcelona
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  1. Toivanen, Otto & Waterson, Michael, 2000. "Empirical research on discrete choice game theory models of entry: An illustration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 985-992, May.
  2. Günter J. Hitsch, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Optimal Dynamic Product Launch and Exit Under Demand Uncertainty," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(1), pages 25-50, 01-02.
  3. Weeds, Helen, 2002. "Strategic Delay in a Real Options Model of R&D Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 729-47, July.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  5. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  6. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
  7. Ghosal, Vivek, 1996. "Does uncertainty influence the number of firms in an industry?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 229-236, February.
  8. Francisco Requena-Silvente & James Walker, 2005. "Competition and product survival in the UK car market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(19), pages 2289-2295.
  9. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:619-640 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. María Moral & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2007. "Automobile demand, model cycle and age effects," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 193-218, September.
  11. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
  12. Anna Matas & Josep-Lluis Raymond, 2009. "Hedonic prices for cars: an application to the Spanish car market, 1981-2005," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(22), pages 2887-2904.
  13. Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Matilda Orth & Niklas Rudholm, 2010. "Opening Local Retail Food Stores: A Real-Options Approach," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 373-387, September.
  14. Geroski, Paul A & Mazzucato, Mariana, 2001. "Advertising and the Evolution of Market Structure in the US Car Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Michael J. Mazzeo, 2002. "Product Choice and Oligopoly Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 221-242, Summer.
  16. Folta, Timothy B. & Johnson, Douglas R. & O'Brien, Jonathan, 2006. "Uncertainty, irreversibility, and the likelihood of entry: An empirical assessment of the option to defer," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 432-452, November.
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