Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Vertical Differentiation through Product Design

Riegel, Max (2023): Vertical Differentiation through Product Design.

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I study pricing and product design choices of multiproduct firms in a model of directed search. Product design introduces vertical differentiation à la Gabszewicz and Thisse (1979) as well as Shaked and Sutton (1982). While all consumers have a preference for a more niche product design, consumers with lower search costs benefit relatively more. Firms gain from dispersion in tastes through product design and choose maximum differentiation in equilibrium. The firm with the broader product design sets a lower price and attracts consumers with high search costs.

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