Strategic Quality Choice with Minimum Quality Standards
AbstractIn many markets governments set minimum quality standards while some sellers choose to compete on the basis of quality by exceeding them. Such ‘high-quality’ strategies often win public acclaim, especially when ‘environmental friendliness’ is the dimension along which firms are differentiated. We analyse this phenomenon using a duopoly model of vertical product differentiation. A minimum quality standard leads both the high-quality and the low-quality firm to increase product qualities, lower prices, and increase quantities sold. As a result, total welfare increases. Industry profits fall, however, because reduced quality differentiation intensifies price competition. If the high-quality firm can commit to a quality level before regulations are promulgated, it induces the regulator to weaken its standards, and welfare falls.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1793.
Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
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