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Snobs and Quality Gaps

  • Basov Suren

    ()

    (Melbourne University)

The paper characterizes the optimal provision of quality by a monopolist facing a population of consumers with private valuation for quality. Unlike previous models by Mussa and Rosen (1978) and others, this paper assumes there is a mass of consumers who prefer the highest quality goods. I liken these consumers to snobs who demand the highest valued goods. I show that the quality supplied jumps discontinuously as the highest valued consumers are encountered and the variety of products is reduced as the population of snobs increases. I also show that only snobs may be supplied once their population grows to a critical size.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-8

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:contributions.6:y:2006:i:1:n:1
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  1. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
  2. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
  3. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  4. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  5. Leonard J. Mirman & David Sibley, 1980. "Optimal Nonlinear Prices for Multiproduct Monopolies," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 659-670, Autumn.
  6. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  7. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  8. David Sappington, 1983. "Optimal Regulation of a Multiproduct Monopoly with Unknown Technological Capabilities," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 453-463, Autumn.
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