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The Informational Role of Prices

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  • Leonard J. Mirman
  • Marc Santugini

    ()
    (IEA, HEC Montréal)

Abstract

We study the informational role of prices. To that end, we consider the framework of a dominant firm with a competitive fringe. When the competitive fringe is large enough, there exists a unique fully revealing equilibrium, in which the price conveys full information about the quality of the good to uninformed buyers. Deceiving the uninformed buyers by charging a high price and mimicking a high quality is not profitable when the competitive fringe is large enough. Since a higher price triggers more sales on the part of the competitive fringe, residual demand and thus profits are reduced. We also study the effect of asymmetric information and learning on the equilibrium outcomes. More uninformed buyers increases the price, reduces the quantity sold by the dominant firm, but increases the quantity sold by the competitive fringe.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 08-09.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Apr 2014
Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:0809

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Postal: Institut d'économie appliquée HEC Montréal 3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine Montréal, Québec H3T 2A7
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Related research

Keywords: Asymmetric information; Dominant Firm with Fringe Competition; Informational externality; Learning; Quality; Signaling.;

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References

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  1. Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-39, March.
  2. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Santanu Roy, 2007. "Signaling Quality through Prices in an Oligopoly," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-081/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Judd, Kenneth L & Riordan, Michael H, 1994. "Price and Quality in a New Product Monopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 773-89, October.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Leonard J. Mirman & Egas Salgueiro & Marc Santugini, 2011. "Noisy Signaling in Monopoly," Cahiers de recherche 11-03, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée, revised May 2013.
  2. Leonard J. Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2011. "The Simple Analytics of Price Signaling Quality," Cahiers de recherche 11-04, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.

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