Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Optimal Product Proliferation in Monopoly: A Dynamic Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Luca Lambertini (Department of Economics, University of Bologna) explains Optimal Product Proliferation in Monopoly: A Dynamic Analysis.

ABSTRACT: The monopolist’s incentives towards product proliferation are evaluated in an optimal control model considering three alternative regimes: profit-seeking; social planning; and a hybrid case with monopoly pricing and a regulator setting product innovation to maximise welfare. In equilibtium, the profitseeking firm supplies a socially suboptimal number of varieties to reduce cannibalisation while the social planner exploits the same effect to satisfy consumers’ love for variety and decrease the market price of all products. In terms of the Schumpeter vs Arrow debate on the relationship between market structure and innovation incentives, the results obtained in this model have a definite Arrovian flavour.

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