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Minimum Quality Standards and ConsumersÕ Information

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  • P. Garella
  • P. Petrakis

Abstract

The literature so far has analyzed the effects of Minimum Quality Standards in oligopoly, using models of pure vertical differentiation, with only two firms, and perfect information. We analyze products that are differentiated horizontally and vertically, with imperfect consumers information, and more than two firms. We show that a MQS changes the consumers’ perception of produced qualities. This increases the firms’ returns from quality enhancing investments, notwithstanding contrary strategic effects. As a consequence, MQS policies may be desirable as both, firms and consumers, can gain. This contrasts with previous results in the literature and provides a justification for the use of MQS to improve social welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 532.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:532

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  1. Ecchia, Giulio & Lambertini, Luca, 1997. "Minimum Quality Standards and Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 101-13, March.
  2. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Quality variations and maximal variety differentiation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 21-29, February.
  3. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-46, December.
  4. Wauthy, X., 1994. "Quality Choice in Models of Vertical Differentiation," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1994033, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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  6. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  7. Crampes, C. & Hollander, A., 1991. "Duopoly and Quality Standards," Cahiers de recherche 9128, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. P. Garella, 2003. "The Effects of Minimum Quality Standards: Better or Worse Products?," Working Papers 484, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  9. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-45, November.
  10. Häckner, Jonas, 1999. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Research Papers in Economics 1999:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  11. Scarpa, Carlo, 1998. "Minimum quality standards with more than two firms1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 665-676, September.
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  15. Naoto Jinji & Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu, 2004. "Minimum Quality Standards under Asymmetric Duopoly with Endogenous Quality Ordering: A Note," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 189-199, 09.
  16. Fluet, Claude & Garella, Paolo G., 2002. "Advertising and prices as signals of quality in a regime of price rivalry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 907-930, September.
  17. Paolo Garella, 2006. ""Innocuous" Minimum Quality Standards," Working Papers 0606, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  18. M. Ali Khan, 2007. "Perfect Competition," PIDE-Working Papers 2007:15, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  19. Chrysovalantou Milliou & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2004. "Business-to-business electronic marketplaces: Joining a public or creating a private," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 99-112.
  20. Symeonidis, George, 2003. "Comparing Cournot and Bertrand equilibria in a differentiated duopoly with product R&D," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 39-55, January.
  21. Maxwell, John W., 1998. "Minimum quality standards as a barrier to innovation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 355-360, March.
  22. Lutz, Stefan & Lyon, Thomas P & Maxwell, John W, 2000. "Quality Leadership When Regulatory Standards Are Forthcoming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 331-48, September.
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