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Perpetual Signalling with Imperfectly Correlated Costs


  • Loretta J. Mester


In many imperfect-information models in industrial organization, a firm is induced to take an action that does not maximize its first-period profit because other firms view this action as a signal about the firm's private information. In these models, because the opponent firms can correctly invert the firm's strategy, all information is revealed after play in the first period, and in subsequent periods all firms play their single-period profit-maximizing strategies. Thus, behavior like limit pricing is observed only in the first period, and not in any subsequent period. The empirical importance of such signalling behavior, however, depends on its being perpetuated through time rather than being a single-period phenomenon. In this article, such perpetual signalling is obtained by allowing the variable about which firms have private information to vary through time. In a separating equilibrium, while a firm's action will perfectly reveal its private information in a period, it will not perfectly reveal the firm's private information in subsequent periods. Thus, the incentive to signal perpetuates through time.

Suggested Citation

  • Loretta J. Mester, 1992. "Perpetual Signalling with Imperfectly Correlated Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 548-563, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:23:y:1992:i:winter:p:548-563

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pham, Tho & Talavera, Oleksandr & Yang, Junhong, 2016. "Multimarket Competition and Profitability: Evidence from Ukrainian banking," MPRA Paper 78763, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Apr 2017.
    2. Doris Neu Berger, 1998. "Industrial Organization of Banking: A Review," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 97-118.
    3. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Dynamic Limit Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 8104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Berger, Allen N. & Demsetz, Rebecca S. & Strahan, Philip E., 1999. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: Causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 135-194, February.
    5. Shaffer, Sherrill, 2004. "Patterns of competition in banking," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 287-313.
    6. Neuberger, Doris, 1997. "Structure, Conduct and Performance in Banking Markets," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 12, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    7. Coccorese, Paolo & Pellecchia, Alfonso, 2013. "Multimarket contact, competition and pricing in banking," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 187-214.

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