Does Monopoly Undersupply Product Quality?
I investigate the behaviour of a multiproduct monopolist supplying vertically differentiated varieties of the same good. The discretemodel adopted here allows to obtain a continuous model when, in the limit, the number of varieties becomes infinitely large. The main finding establishes that the tendency on the part of the monopolist to undersupply all qualities but the top one can take two alternative forms, i.e., either qualities correspond to the socially optimal ones but the allocation of consumers across quali-ties is distorted by the price schedule, or qualities are indeed lower than those supplied under social planning. The first case arises when the monopolist finds it profitable to restrict output, while the second obtains when the market is rich enough to induce the monopolist to supply the same quantity a social planner would produce. Policy implications are discussed.
|Date of creation:||Apr 1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Piazza Scaravilli, 2, and Strada Maggiore, 45, 40125 Bologna|
Phone: +39 051 209 8019 and 2600
Fax: +39 051 209 8040 and 2664
Web page: http://www.dse.unibo.it
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- de Meza, David, 1997. "Product Diversity under Monopoly: Two High Quality Results," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 169-71, April.
- Jaskold Gabszewicz, Jean & Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1986. "Segmenting the market: The monopolist's optimal product mix," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 273-289, August.
- Donnenfeld, Shabtai & White, Lawrence J, 1988. "Product Variety and the Inefficiency of Monopoly," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(219), pages 393-401, August.
- Sheshinski, Eytan, 1976. "Price, Quality and Quantity Regulation in Monopoly Situations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(17), pages 127-37, May.
- Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
- Besanko, David & Donnenfeld, Shabtai & White, Lawrence J, 1988. "The Multiproduct Firm, Quality Choice, and Regulation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 411-29, June.
- A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
- David Besanko & Shabtai Donnenfeld & Lawrence J. White, 1987. "Monopoly and Quality Distortion: Effects and Remedies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 743-767.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:317. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.