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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 (MQS) in oligopoly, using models of pure vertical differentiation, with only two firms, and perfect information. We consider 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. Our analysis justifies the use of MQS in industries where consumers cannot precisely ascertain the quality of goods, for instance pharmaceuticals or products with chemical components involved

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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. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Price competition, quality and income disparities," CORE Discussion Papers RP -370, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. 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.
  3. George Symeonidis, 2002. "Comparing Cournot and Bertrand Equilibria in a Differentiated Duopoly with Product R&D," Economics Discussion Papers 539, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. Crampes, C. & Hollander, A., 1992. "Duopoly and Quality Standards," Papers 92.g, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  5. M Ali Khan, 2007. "Perfect Competition," Microeconomics Working Papers 22207, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  6. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
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  11. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2005. "Imperfect Competition and Quality Signaling," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0520, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. Paolo Garella, 2006. ""Innocuous" Minimum Quality Standards," Working Papers 0606, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  13. 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).
  14. Maxwell, John W., 1998. "Minimum quality standards as a barrier to innovation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 355-360, March.
  15. 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.
  16. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Differentiation and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 407-14, May.
  17. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Quality variations and maximal variety differentiation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 21-29, February.
  18. Ecchia, Giulio & Lambertini, Luca, 1997. "Minimum Quality Standards and Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 101-13, March.
  19. Hackner, Jonas, 2000. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 233-239, August.
  20. 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.
  21. Scarpa, Carlo, 1998. "Minimum quality standards with more than two firms1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 665-676, September.
  22. P. Garella, 2003. "The Effects of Minimum Quality Standards: Better or Worse Products?," Working Papers 484, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  23. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-45, November.
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