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Price–quality competition in a mixed duopoly

Tilman Klumpp and Xuejuan Su ()

Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2019, vol. 21, issue 3, 400-432

Abstract: We examine competition between a private and a public provider in markets for merit goods, such as education, healthcare, housing, recreation, or culture. The private firm provides a high‐price/high‐quality variety of the good and serves richer individuals, whereas the public firm provides a low‐price/low‐quality variety and serves poorer individuals. We first characterize the private competitor’s best response to changes in the public firm’s price and quality. This enables us to examine the distributional effects of policies that affect the price or quality of the public firm’s product. We then numerically characterize the public firm’s optimal provision policy, taking the private response into consideration. Our results have implications for the financing of publicly provided goods, and for whether additional resources, if available, should be spent on reducing the price or enhancing the quality of these goods.

Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Price-Quality Competition in a Mixed Duopoly (2018) Downloads
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:21:y:2019:i:3:p:400-432