Monopoly versus Competitive Leveraging of Reputation through Umbrella Pricing
Eric Bennett Rasmusen
Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy
March 18, 2011
The Klein-Leffler model explains how the benefit of future reputation can induce firms to produce high quality experience goods, either in a monopoly or an industry with competing firms. We show that reputation can be leveraged across products, but only by a firm with a monopoly on at least one product. Such a firm, however, may be able to capture the market for a competitive product by using umbrella pricing to make higher quality more credible than for firms without a monopoly base. Such monopoly extension increases social welfare, and can even benefit consumers, despite the increase in price. The expanding monopolist does not need to use bundling, and consumers are left better off, but otherwise this looks like classic monopoly leverage.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Product quality, umbrella branding, economies of scope, reputation
JEL Classification: D43, K21
Date posted: August 9, 2011
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