Signaling Quality Through Prices in an Oligopoly
AbstractFirms signal high quality through high prices even if the market structure is highly competitive and price competition is severe. In a symmetric Bertrand oligopoly where products may differ only in their quality, production cost is increasing in quality and the quality of each firm's product is private information (not known to consumers or to other firms), we show that there exist fully revealing equilibria in mixed strategies. In such equilibria, low quality firms enjoy market power when other firms are of high quality. High quality firms charge higher prices than low quality firms but lose business to rival firms with higher probability. Some of the revealing equilibria involve high degree of market power (price close to full information monopoly level) while others are more "competitive". Under certain conditions, if the number of firms is large enough, information is revealed in every equilibrium.
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 Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 0709.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision: Nov 2008
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496
Web page: http://www.smu.edu/economics
Signaling; Quality; Oligopoly; Incomplete Information.;
Other versions of this item:
- 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
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-10-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2007-10-27 (Business Economics)
- NEP-COM-2007-10-27 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-IND-2007-10-27 (Industrial Organization)
- NEP-MIC-2007-10-27 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-MKT-2007-10-27 (Marketing)
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.:
- Andrew Daughety & Jennifer Reinganum, .
"Secrecy and Safety,"
American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings
1039, American Law & Economics Association.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum & Andrew F. Daughety, 2004. "Secrecy and Safety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 53, Econometric Society.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2003. "Secrecy and Safety," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0317, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Sep 2003.
- 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.
- Maarten C.W. Janssen & Eric Rasmusen, 1998.
"Bertrand Competition under Uncertainty,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
98-083/1, Tinbergen Institute.
- Maarten Janssen & Eric Rasmusen, 2001. "Bertrand Competition Under Uncertainty," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-117, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
- Maarten Janssen & Eric Rasmusen, 2000. "Bertrand Competition Under Uncertainty," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1309, Econometric Society.
- Eric Rasmusen, 1996. "Bertrand Competition Under Uncertainty," Industrial Organization 9607002, EconWPA.
- Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
- Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
- Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
- Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
- Bagwell, K., 1991.
"Pricing to Signal Product Line Quality,"
e-91-11, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1978.
"A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion,"
335, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988.
"High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality,"
808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- 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.
- Claude Fluet & Paolo G. Garella, 1999.
"Advertising and Prices as Signals of Quality in a Regime of Price Rivalry,"
Cahiers de recherche du DÃ©partement des sciences Ã©conomiques, UQAM
9903, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
- 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.
- M Ali Khan, 2007. "Perfect Competition," Microeconomics Working Papers 22207, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
- Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
- Wolinsky, Asher, 1983. "Prices as Signals of Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 647-58, October.
- Spulber, Daniel F, 1995. "Bertrand Competition When Rivals' Costs Are Unknown," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 1-11, March.
- Mark N. Herzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Prices as Signals of Quality in Duopoly," CIE Discussion Papers 2001-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
- Fershtman, Chaim, 1982. "Price dispersion in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 389-401, December.
- Dirk Bergemann & Juuso VÃ¤limÃ¤ki, 2006. "Dynamic Pricing of New Experience Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 713-743, August.
- Buehler, B. & Schuett, F., 2012. "Certification and Minimum Quality Standards when Some Consumers are Uninformed," Discussion Paper 2012-040, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
- Leonard J. Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2008. "The Informational Role of Prices," Cahiers de recherche 08-09, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée, revised Jul 2013.
- 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.
- Aditi Sengupta, 2010. "Signaling environmental quality to green consumers and the incentive to invest in cleaner technology: Effect of environmental regulation," Departmental Working Papers 1001, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
- Bester, Helmut & Demuth, Juri, 2011.
"Signalling rivalry and quality uncertainty in a duopoly,"
2011/20, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
- Bester, Helmut & Demuth, Juri, 2013. "Signalling Rivalry and Quality Uncertainty in a Duopoly," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 400, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Andrei Dubovik & Maarten C.W. Janssen, 2008.
"Oligopolistic Competition in Price and Quality,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
08-068/1, Tinbergen Institute.
- Aditi Sengupta, 2012. "Competitive Investment in Clean Technology and Uninformed Green Consumers," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2012-08, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
- Eric Schmidbauer, 2013. "New and Improved?," Working Papers 2013-01, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Maarten C. W. Janssen & Mariya Teteryanikova, 2012. "Horizontal Product Differentiation: Disclosure and Competition," Vienna Economics Papers 1205, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2011. "Economic Analysis of Products Liability: Theory," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1107, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Daher, Wassim & Mirman, Leonard J. & Santugini, Marc, 2012.
"Information in Cournot: Signaling with incomplete control,"
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 361-370.
- Wassim DAHER & Leonard J. MIRMAN & Marc Santugini, 2009. "Information in Cournot: Signaling with Incomplete Control," Cahiers de recherche 09-09, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée, revised Nov 2011.
- Catherine Gendron-Saulnier & Marc Santugini, 2013. "The Informational Benefit of Being Discriminated," Cahiers de recherche 13-02, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
- Leonard J. Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2011. "The Simple Analytics of Price Signaling Quality," Cahiers de recherche 11-04, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bo Chen).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.