Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Imperfect Competition and Quality Signaling

Contents:

Author Info

  • Andrew F. Daughety

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Law School, Vanderbilt University)

  • Jennifer F. Reinganum

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Law School, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

We examine the interplay of imperfect competition and incomplete information in the context of price competition among firms producing horizontally- and vertically-differentiated substitute products. We find that incomplete information about vertical quality (e.g., consumer satisfaction) that is signaled via price softens price competition, and that imperfect competition can reduce the degree to which firms distort their prices to signal their types (relative to what a monopolist would do). We show that low-quality firms always prefer playing the incomplete information game to the full-information analog: their prices are higher and so are their profits. Moreover, for "high-value" markets, if the proportion of high-quality firms is great enough, high-quality firms also prefer incomplete information to full information. We find conditions such that an increase in the loss to consumers associated with consuming the low-quality product may perversely benefit low-quality firms. We discuss the implications of our analysis for recent tort reform proposals, incentives for the diffusion of general innovation to product-specific improvements, and professional licensing.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu05-w20.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2005
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0520.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0520

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

Related research

Keywords: Imperfect competition; quality; signaling; oligopoly;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Steven A. Matthews & Leonard J. Mirman, 1981. "Equilibrium Limit Pricing: The Effects of Private Information and Stochastic Demand," Discussion Papers 494, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Daughety, Andrew & Reinganum, Jennifer, 1992. "Product Safety: Liability, R & D and Signaling," Working Papers 94-17, University of Iowa, Department of Economics, revised 1994.
  4. Laurent Linnemer, 1998. "Entry Deterrence, Product Quality: Price and Advertising as Signals," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 615-645, December.
  5. Helmut Bester, 1998. "Quality Uncertainty Mitigates Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 828-844, Winter.
  6. Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
  7. Andrew Daughety & Jennifer Reinganum, . "Secrecy and Safety," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1039, American Law & Economics Association.
  8. Esther Gal-Or, 1988. "The Advantages of Imprecise Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 266-275, Summer.
  9. Nancy A. Lutz, 1989. "Warranties as Signals under Consumer Moral Hazard," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 239-255, Summer.
  10. 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.
  11. Bagwell, Kyle, 1992. "Pricing to Signal Product Line Quality," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 151-74, Spring.
  12. Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1987. "Oligopolistic Entry Deterrence under Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 211-231, Summer.
  13. Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1991. "Oligopoly Limit Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 155-172, Summer.
  14. Das Varma, Gopal, 2003. "Bidding for a process innovation under alternative modes of competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 15-37, January.
  15. Martin, Stephen, 1995. "Oligopoly limit pricing: Strategic substitutes, strategic complements," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 41-65, March.
  16. 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.
  17. Mailath, George J, 1989. "Simultaneous Signaling in an Oligopoly Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 417-27, May.
  18. 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.
  19. Mailath, George J., 1988. "An abstract two-period game with simultaneous signaling--Existence of separating equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 373-394, December.
  20. Dan Levin & James Peck & Lixin Ye, 2009. "QUALITY DISCLOSURE AND COMPETITION -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 167-196, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0520. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John P. Conley).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.