SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

I use original data on eyewear retailers in a cross-section of U.S. markets to study how firms' product range choices vary with the degree of local competition. Market level regressions show average per firm variety declining in the number of rivals. In regressions at the firm level, taking account of spatial differentiation within each market, a non-monotonic relationship between product ranges and competition is apparent. As the number of nearby rivals increases, per firm variety may first rise before eventually declining. Explanations for this pattern are offered, in terms of a tradeoff between business stealing and clustering effects.