Multi-dimensional Product Differentiation

36 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2011 Last revised: 4 May 2019

See all articles by Qihong Liu

Qihong Liu

University of Oklahoma - Department of Economics

Jie Shuai

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

Date Written: April 24, 2019


We analyze product differentiation in a multi-dimensional model with non-uniform consumer distribution. The level of product differentiation is measured by both unit transport costs and firm locations. Our analysis concerns both measures. First, fixing firms' locations, we show that equilibrium prices can increase or decrease with unit transport cost. The overall result depends on the interplay of a shifting effect and a rotating effect -- the latter exists only in multi-dimensional models. Second, fixing unit transport costs, we find that under non-uniform distribution, there may exist no equilibrium where firms maximize differentiation on one dimension but minimize differentiation on other dimensions. Instead, there may exist equilibrium where firms choose intermediate locations, contrary to the common findings in existing studies which assume uniform distribution.

Keywords: Multi-dimensional product differentiation, Unit transport cost, Location choice

JEL Classification: D43, L13

Suggested Citation

Liu, Qihong and Shuai, Jie, Multi-dimensional Product Differentiation (April 24, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Qihong Liu (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma - Department of Economics ( email )

Norman, OK 73019-2103
United States
405-325-5846 (Phone)


Jie Shuai

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law ( email )

182 Nanhu Ave.
East Lake High-tech Development Zone
Wuhan, Hubei 430073