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Quality Uncertainty and Informative Advertising

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  • José Luis Moraga-González

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We consider a single period model where a monopolist introduces a product of uncertain quality. Before pricing and informative advertising decisions take place, the producer observes the true quality of the good while consumers receive an independent signal which is correlated with the true quality of the product. We show that if informative advertising occurs in equilibrium, there must exist some pooling. Further, we prove that for an advertising full pooling equilibrium to exist, (a) consumers' valuation for the high quality, advertising cost and consumers' prior probability of high quality must be sufficiently high and (b) informativeness of the market signal must be sufficiently low. Existence of an advertising semi-separating equilibrium requires similar conditions. When informative advertising appears in equilibrium, the adverse selection problem is partially mitigated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics in its series CIE Discussion Papers with number 1997-19.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: International Journal of Industrial Organization. May 2000; 18(4): 615-40
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:1997-19

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Keywords: informative advertising; quality uncertainty; signaling;

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References

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  1. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "Prices and Qualities in Markets with Costly Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 499-516, October.
  2. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
  4. Mailath George J. & Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1993. "Belief-Based Refinements in Signalling Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 241-276, August.
  5. Riordan, Michael H, 1986. "Monopolistic Competition with Experience Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 265-79, May.
  6. 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.
  7. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  8. Cooper, Russell & Ross, Thomas W, 1984. "Prices, Product Qualities and Asymmetric Information: The Competitive Case," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 197-207, April.
  9. Ellingsen, Tore, 1997. "Price signals quality: The case of perfectly inelastic demand," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 43-61, November.
  10. Russell Cooper & Thomas W. Ross, 1984. "Monopoly Provision of Product Quality with Uninformed Buyers," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 688R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Nov 1984.
  11. Archibald, Robert B & Haulman, Clyde A & Moody, Carlisle E, Jr, 1983. " Quality, Price, Advertising, and Published Quality Ratings," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 347-56, March.
  12. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  13. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81, January.
  14. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  15. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Riordan, Michael H, 1984. "Advertising as a Signal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 427-50, June.
  16. Wolinsky, Asher, 1983. "Prices as Signals of Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 647-58, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Tsuchihashi, Toshihiro, 2008. "Market research and complementary advertising under asymmetric information," Discussion Papers 2008-05, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Boom, Anette, 2004. ""Download for Free" - When Do Providers of Digital Goods Offer Free Samples?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 70, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Young-Han Kim & Praveen Aggarwal & Young-Myung Ha & Tai Hoon Cha, 2006. "Optimal pricing strategy for foreign market entry: a game theoretic approach," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(8), pages 643-653.

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