New and Improved?
AbstractAre new versions of products necessarily better? We analyze product innovation by a firm that engages in research and development designed to improve an existing product, the outcome of which is uncertain. If the firm adopts the innovation its modified product appears to consumers as new and improved, but consumers do not immediately know whether or how much the product is better. We find that new products are on average improved and therefore command a pricing premium. This induces some types to exploit the new product signal by selling new versions that are only trivially different from their older version or that require inefficiently high upgrade costs. Nevertheless, the incentive to show off by introducing a new product may improve total welfare by inducing more innovation adoption and thereby mitigating the standard monopoly underinvestment problem. Innovation signaling provides a rational explanation for consumer attraction to new versions of products without resort to behavioral assumptions such as a preference for "newness".
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2013-01.
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1309 East Tenth Street, Room 451, Bloomington, IN 47405-1701
Web page: http://www.bus.indiana.edu/bepp/
More information through EDIRC
Asymmetric information; Signaling; Innovation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-03-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2013-03-09 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-CTA-2013-03-09 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-HME-2013-03-09 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-INO-2013-03-09 (Innovation)
- NEP-KNM-2013-03-09 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-MKT-2013-03-09 (Marketing)
- NEP-TID-2013-03-09 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hirschman, Elizabeth C., 1984. "Experience seeking: A subjectivist perspective of consumption," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, March.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986.
"Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
- Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2004.
"Best Foot Forward or Best for Last in a Sequential Auction?,"
2004-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2006. "Best Foot Forward or Best for Last in a Sequential Auction?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 176-194, Spring.
- Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2006. "Best foot forward or best for last in a sequential auction?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 176-194, 03.
- Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2000. "Best Foot Forward or Best for Last in a Sequential Auction?," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-43, Claremont Colleges.
- Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987.
"Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games,"
Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-61, May.
- 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.
- Maarten C.W. Janssen & Santanu Roy, 2007.
"Signaling Quality through Prices in an Oligopoly,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
07-081/1, Tinbergen Institute.
- Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009.
"Prominence and consumer search,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 209-233.
- Linnemer, Laurent, 2002. "Price and advertising as signals of quality when some consumers are informed," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 931-947, September.
- Horstmann, Ignatius J & MacDonald, Glenn M, 1994. "When Is Advertising a Signal of Product Quality?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 561-84, Fall.
- Midgley, David F & Dowling, Grahame R, 1978. " Innovativeness: The Concept and Its Measurement," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 229-42, March.
- Hirschman, Elizabeth C, 1980. " Innovativeness, Novelty Seeking, and Consumer Creativity," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(3), pages 283-95, December.
- Cai, Hongbin & Riley, John & Ye, Lixin, 2007. "Reserve price signaling," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 253-268, July.
- Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982.
"A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
- Yaron Yehezkel, 2008. "Signaling Quality in an Oligopoly When Some Consumers Are Informed," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 937-972, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rick Harbaugh).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.