Harold Hotelling, 1895-1973, was an American statistician and an important economic theorist. He was Associate Professor at Stanford University and Professor at Columbia University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Amongst his pupils we can highlight Kenneth Arrow and Milton Friedman. His greatest contribution was to the monopolistic competition field.
Harold Hotelling developed in his article “Stability in Competition”, 1929, what is known nowadays as the Hotelling model or linear city model, which greatly contributed to the field of product differentiation. In this model he introduced the notions of locational equilibrium in a duopoly in which two firms have to choose their location taking into consideration consumers’ distribution and transportation costs. The Hotelling model has been source of inspiration for a great amount of fruitful literature which does not only constrain to industrial organization theory but also to other sciences, such as politics, as some of its conclusion can be directly applied to them.