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The Value of Information About Product Quality

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  • Edward E. Schlee

Abstract

Both consumers and a monopolist producer are uncertain about a good's quality. I derive conditions under which the value of public information about quality will be positive or negative to consumers and the firm. I find that the firm always prefers more information, but consumers may not. I identify two properties of cost functions which lead to a negative value of information for consumers: increasing returns to scale and "sufficiently" convex marginal costs. If, however, demand and cost functions are linear, then consumers always prefer more information. I also analyze the aggregate value of information and extensions to nonmonopolistic markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward E. Schlee, 1996. "The Value of Information About Product Quality," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 803-815, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:27:y:1996:i:winter:p:803-815
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark A. Geistfeld, 2009. "Products Liability," Chapters,in: Tort Law and Economics, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Patron, Hilde, 2007. "The value of information about central bankers' preferences," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 139-148.
    3. Sulganik, Eyal & Zilcha, Itzhak, 1997. "The value of information: The case of signal-dependent opportunity sets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1615-1625, August.
    4. Silvia Martínez-Gorricho, 2014. "Information and consumer fraud in a signalling model," Working Papers. Serie AD 2014-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    5. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Ottaviani, Marco, 2001. "Price Competition for an Informed Buyer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 457-493, December.
    6. Kwang-Sook Huh, 2008. "Strategic Price Decision Inducing Consumer Rationing: Theory and Evidence," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 24, pages 233-257.
    7. Ma, Ching-to Albert & Mak, Henry Y., 2015. "Information disclosure and the equivalence of prospective payment and cost reimbursement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 439-452.
    8. Omer Moav & Zvika Neeman, 2010. "THE QUALITY OF INFORMATION AND INCENTIVES FOR EFFORT -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 642-660, September.
    9. Ram Singh, 2002. "Characterization of Efficient Product Liability Rules: When Consumers are Imperfectly Informed," Working papers 110, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    10. K.J.M. De Jaegher, 2012. "The value of private information in the physician-patient relationship: a gametheoretic account," Working Papers 12-23, Utrecht School of Economics.
    11. Ram Singh, 2009. "RISK, INFORMATIONAL ASYMMETRY AND PRODUCT LIABILITY: An Enquiry Into Conflicting Objectives," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 89-112, February.
    12. Eckwert, Bernhard & Zilcha, Itzhak, 2001. "The Value of Information in Production Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 172-186, September.
    13. Ching-to Albert Ma & Henry Y. Mak, 2014. "Public Report, Price, and Quality," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 443-464, June.
    14. Silvia Martínez-Gorricho, 2012. "Beneficial consumer fraud," Working Papers. Serie AD 2012-13, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    15. Heski Bar-Isaac & Guillermo Caruana & Vicente Cunat, 2007. "Information Gathering Externalities in Product Markets," Working Papers 07-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.

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