We develop a model of generic advertising in the context of vertically dependent markets wherein producers of an intermediate good financially support, through voluntary contributions, a generic advertising campaign aimed at consumers of a final product. The Nash equilibrium is characterized by free riding on the part of upstream firms because of the nature of generic advertising, leading to its underprovision with respect to joint, industry-wide profit maximization. We test the model in the U.S. fluid milk industry focusing on the effects of generic advertising on the intermediate demand for milk, since dairy farmers support the generic advertising. Taking this approach, we find that generic advertising had a positive influence on farm-level demand for milk, but did not achieve joint profit maximization.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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