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Product Differentiation with Imperfect Information

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  • Asher Wolinsky

Abstract

The paper employs a model of monopolistic competition and product differentiation with consumers who are not well informed about the specification of the offered brands. Welfare analysis of the degree of product differentiation in such a market concludes that the socially desirable product variety is limited due to consumers' imperfect information. Consequently, when the number of consumers is sufficiently large or economies to scale in production are sufficiently weak, the market would offer excessive variety.

Suggested Citation

  • Asher Wolinsky, 1984. "Product Differentiation with Imperfect Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 53-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:51:y:1984:i:1:p:53-61.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2297704
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    Cited by:

    1. Arbatskaya, Maria & Konishi, Hideo, 2012. "Referrals in search markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 89-101.
    2. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
    3. Braid, Ralph M., 1998. "Spatial price competition when stores are not certain to have what consumers want," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 143-161, March.
    4. Schultz, Christian, 2004. "Market transparency and product differentiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 173-178, May.
    5. Gravelle, Hugh & Masiero, Giuliano, 2000. "Quality incentives in a regulated market with imperfect information and switching costs: capitation in general practice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 1067-1088, November.
    6. Schultz, Christian, 2009. "Transparency and product variety," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 165-168, March.
    7. Tse, Chung Yi, 2006. "New product introduction with costly search," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2775-2792, December.
    8. Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Zsolt Sandor & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2008. "Nonparametric Estimation of the Costs of Non-Sequential Search," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-102/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Gérard P. Cachon & Christian Terwiesch & Yi Xu, 2005. "Retail Assortment Planning in the Presence of Consumer Search," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 7(4), pages 330-346, August.
    10. Bing Jing, 2007. "Product differentiation under imperfect information: When does offering a lower quality pay?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 35-61, March.
    11. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault & Claude Jessua, 1996. "Produits différenciés et information imparfaite des consommateurs," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 47(3), pages 425-435.
    12. Tse, C.Y.Chung Yi, 2004. "Search frictions, market power, and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 323-346, June.
    13. repec:spr:joptap:v:143:y:2009:i:3:d:10.1007_s10957-009-9575-7 is not listed on IDEAS

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