Price discrimination and quality improvement
This paper models quality improvements when multiple quality levels can sell, owing to differences in consumers' valuations of quality improvements. Firms can collude to price discriminate, so that consumers with high valuations pay a price premium, while others receive a quality level below the highest available. Imposing minimum quality standards or price ceilings can ensure that only the highest quality level of each product is sold. Such intervention reduces the quality-adjusted price paid by consumers but also reduces the incentives for firms to innovate. When enough consumers have high valuations, such intervention must be welfare reducing, owing to reduced innovation.
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Volume (Year): 34 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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