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Oligopolistic competition in price and quality

  • Dubovik, Andrei
  • Janssen, Maarten C.W.

We consider an oligopolistic market where firms compete in price and quality and where consumers have heterogeneous information: some consumers know both the prices, and quality of the products offered, some know only the prices, and some know neither. We show that if there are sufficiently many uninformed consumers, then there exists a unique equilibrium where price is a perfect indicator of quality. This equilibrium is characterized by dispersion and Pareto-inefficiency of the price/quality offers, where better price/quality combinations are associated with lower prices.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 120-138

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:75:y:2012:i:1:p:120-138
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Rogerson, William P, 1988. "Price Advertising and the Deterioration of Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 215-29, April.
  2. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2004. "Quality and price dispersion in an equilibrium search model," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 99-116.
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  5. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Santanu Roy, 2007. "Signaling Quality Through Prices in an Oligopoly," Departmental Working Papers 0709, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
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  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  11. Daughety, Andrew F. & Reinganum, Jennifer F., 2007. "Competition and confidentiality: Signaling quality in a duopoly when there is universal private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 94-120, January.
  12. 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.
  13. Schwartz, Alan & Wilde, Louis L, 1985. "Product Quality and Imperfect Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 251-62, April.
  14. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  15. Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-39, March.
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