Vertical Product Differentiation, Entry-Deterrence Strategies, and Entry Qualities

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2006-04-01
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Noh, Yong-Hwan
Moschini, GianCarlo
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Moschini, Giancarlo
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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We analyze the potential entry of a new product into a vertically differentiated market. Here the entry-deterrence strategies of the incumbent firm rely on "limit qualities." The model assumes quality-dependent marginal production costs and considers sequential quality choices by an incumbent and an entrant. Entry-quality decisions and the entry-deterrence strategies are related to the fixed cost necessary for entry and to the degree of consumers' taste for quality. We detail the conditions under which the incumbent increases its quality level to deter entry. Quality-dependent marginal production costs in the model entail the possibility of inferior-quality entry as well. Welfare is not necessarily improved when entry is encouraged rather than deterred.

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