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Transparency, price-dependent demand and product variety


  • Gu, Yiquan
  • Wenzel, Tobias


This paper revisits the relationship between transparency on the consumer side and product variety as analyzed in Schultz (2009). We identify two welfare effects of transparency. More transparency decreases price-cost margins which is beneficial forwelfare. On the other hand, more transparency reduces variety which can be positive or negative for welfare. Overall, more transparency is always welfareimproving.

Suggested Citation

  • Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2010. "Transparency, price-dependent demand and product variety," DICE Discussion Papers 04, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schultz, Christian, 2005. "Transparency on the consumer side and tacit collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 279-297, February.
    2. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    3. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2009. "A note on the excess entry theorem in spatial models with elastic demand," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 567-571, September.
    4. Schultz, Christian, 2009. "Transparency and product variety," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 165-168, March.
    5. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    6. Gu Yiquan & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Price-Dependent Demand in Spatial Models," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, March.
    7. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2009. "Product Variety, Price Elasticity of Demand and Fixed Cost in Spatial Models," Ruhr Economic Papers 92, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
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    Cited by:

    1. Esteves, Rosa-Branca & Reggiani, Carlo, 2014. "Elasticity of demand and behaviour-based price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 46-56.
    2. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 7-10.
    3. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    4. Clémence Christin, 2013. "Entry Deterrence Through Cooperative R&D Over-Investment," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 79(2), pages 5-26.
    5. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, June.
    6. Schultz, Christian, 2014. "Consumer poaching, brand switching, and price transparency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 266-269.
    7. Francisco Martínez Sánchez, 2016. "Collusion, Customization and Transparency," Working Papers. Serie AD 2016-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

    More about this item


    Market Transparency; Product Variety; Salop Model;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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