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Variety: Consumer Choice and Optimal Diversity

Author

Listed:
  • William C. Horrace

    () (Syracuse University)

  • Rui Huang

    () (University of Connecticut)

  • Jeffrey M. Perloff

    () (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Consumers choose from among the varieties of two brands and an outside good using order statistics. We analytically derive demand functions conditional on their valuations of the varieties being distributed independently uniform. Based on this theory, we estimate a threeparameter empirical version of the model for the soft-drink market. These estimates are used to determine the effects of changes in the number of varieties on demand curves and consumer welfare. We use our estimates to compare the profit-maximizing number of varieties within a grocery store to the socially optimal number and find that consumer surplus and welfare would increase with more variety.

Suggested Citation

  • William C. Horrace & Rui Huang & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2009. "Variety: Consumer Choice and Optimal Diversity," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 115, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:115
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    File URL: http://fmpc.uconn.edu/publications/rr/rr115.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey M. Perloff & Steven C. Salop, 1985. "Equilibrium with Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 107-120.
    2. Gilbert, Richard J & Matutes, Carmen, 1993. "Product Line Rivalry with Brand Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 223-240, September.
    3. Golan, Amos & Karp, Larry S & Perloff, Jeffrey M, 2000. "Estimating Coke's and Pepsi's Price and Advertising Strategies," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(4), pages 398-409, October.
    4. Raymond Deneckere & Michael Rothschild, 1992. "Monopolistic Competition and Preference Diversity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 361-373.
    5. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    6. Gasmi, F & Laffont, J J & Vuong, Q, 1992. "Econometric Analysis of Collusive Behavior in a Soft-Drink Market," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 277-311, Summer.
    7. Aviv Nevo, 2003. "New Products, Quality Changes, and Welfare Measures Computed from Estimated Demand Systems," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 266-275, May.
    8. Raubitschek, Ruth S, 1987. "A Model of Product Proliferation with Multiproduct Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 269-279, March.
    9. Michaela Draganska & Dipak C. Jain, 2005. "Product-Line Length as a Competitive Tool," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, March.
    10. Tirtha Dhar & Jean-Paul Chavas & Ronald W. Cotterill & Brian W. Gould, 2005. "An Econometric Analysis of Brand-Level Strategic Pricing Between Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 905-931, December.
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