Minimum Quality Standards, Entry, and the Timing of the Quality Decision
This paper examines the effects of the imposition of minimum quality standards (MQS) on a vertically differentiated natural duopoly with free entry. It is shown that the welfare effects of MQS are crucially dependent upon the timing of the quality choice with respect to the decision to enter the market. If irreversible decision to enter is taken without pre-commitment to a specific quality level then a welfare improving MQS always exists. If, however, a firm's product quality must be decided prior to entry then a MQS is either redundant or counterproductive, since it can induce a monopoly. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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