Competition and Quality in Regulated Markets with Sluggish Demand

32 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2008

See all articles by Kurt Richard Brekke

Kurt Richard Brekke

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Roberto Cellini

University of Catania - Department of Economics and Business

Luigi Siciliani

University of York

Odd Rune Straume

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2008

Abstract

We investigate the effect of competition on quality in regulated markets (e.g., health care, higher education, public utilities), using a Hotelling framework, in the presence of sluggish demand. We take a differential game approach, and derive the open-loop solution (providers commit to an optimal investment plan at the initial period) and the feedback closed-loop solution (providers move investments in response to the dynamics of the states). If the marginal cost of provision is increasing, the steady state quality is higher under the open-loop solution than under the closed-loop solution. Fiercer competition (lower transportation costs and/or less sluggish demand) leads to higher quality in both solutions, but the quality response to increased competition is weaker when players use closed-loop strategies. In both solutions, quality and demand move in opposite directions over time on the equilibrium path to the steady state.

Keywords: Competition, quality, regulated markets

JEL Classification: H42, I11, I18, L13

Suggested Citation

Brekke, Kurt Richard and Cellini, Roberto and Siciliani, Luigi and Straume, Odd Rune, Competition and Quality in Regulated Markets with Sluggish Demand (August 2008). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6938, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1307528

Kurt Richard Brekke (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Roberto Cellini

University of Catania - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Corso Italia 55
95129 Catania, 95129
Italy
+390957537728 (Phone)
+390957537710 (Fax)

Luigi Siciliani

University of York ( email )

Heslington
University of York
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Odd Rune Straume

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE) ( email )

Campus de Gualtar
Braga, 4710-057
Portugal

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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