Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation studies competition, innovation, and search in durable-goods markets. Specifically, it investigates three questions: First, how does counterfeit competition affect a branded firms profit and social welfare in a durable-goods market? Second, how does an imitators entry impact the durable-goods producers R&D decision when consumers care about social status? And third, how are firms' profits affected by their positions when consumers search for a durable good sequentially?
The second chapter explores why deceptive counterfeit competition may increase a branded firm's profit and total welfare. The reason is that counterfeits enable the branded firm to maintain a high price, which alleviates the time-inconsistency problem of a durable goods monopolist. The third chapter shows that, for conspicuous goods of durable nature, entry of imitators may increase the incumbent's R&D incentive. The result provides a theoretical justification for the weak protection of intellectual property in the fashion industry. The fourth chapter finds that when ex-ante heterogeneous consumers search for a durable good sequentially, a less prominent firm may earn a higher profit, because search cost enables the firm to cherry-pick high-value customers and commit to a high price.
Ding, Yucheng, "Price Competition, Innovation and Search in Durable-goods Markets" (2015). Economics Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 56.