Time-Newsweek Cover Story Game

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Shi Young Lee
Daeyoung Kim
Sanghack Lee

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Abstract

Dixit and Nalebuff (1991) provided a simple example of how Time and Newsweek compete with each other through their cover story decisions. This paper goes beyond this example to specify the conditions under which the two competing magazines (Time and Newsweek) issue the same or different cover stories. The main result of this paper can be described as follows. The difference in relative market power and relative market size of story A to story B are critical in determining the cover story decision (business strategy). If the market size of potential story A relative to story B is sufficiently large, then both magazines may issue the same cover story. However, if the market size of potential story A relative to story B is not large enough, the relative market power (rather than the relative market size) becomes more relevant and both magazines may issue different cover stories. This paper provides empirical evidence that supports our hypothesis and shows how our finding is related to Hotelling’s paradox.

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