4. Circular location

In our previous lectures we have come to the conclusion that when firms compete with price, the Bertrand paradox leads those firms to lose their entire market power. In today’s lecture we will try to resolve this paradox assuming that the firms can differentiate their products. Differentiation has two dimensions. The horizontal, where beliefs for the quality of the product are subjective; and the vertical, where beliefs for quality are objective. We will present two models for horizontal differentiation: the linear and the circular city. We will also cover the Nobel award winning model of differentiation in quality. We will talk about brand proliferation and will examine how it can be effective as a deterrence mechanism. Additionally, we will have two entertaining case studies on the costs of withdrawal and rebranding.

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