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Quality, Upgrades, and Equilibrium in a Dynamic Monopoly Model


  • James Anton
  • Gary Biglaiser


We examine an infinite horizon model of quality growth in a durable goods monopoly market. The monopolist generates new quality improvements over time and can sell any available qualities, in any desired bundles, at each point in time. Consumers are identical and for a quality improvement to have value the buyer must possess previous qualities--goods are upgrades. We show that subgame perfect equilibrium payoffs for the seller range from capturing the full social surplus all the way down to capturing only the current flow value of each good and that each of these payoffs is realized in a Markov perfect equilibrium that follows the socially efficient allocation path. This is true for all discount factors. We also show that inefficient equilibria exist for rates of innovation above a threshold.
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  • James Anton & Gary Biglaiser, 2010. "Quality, Upgrades, and Equilibrium in a Dynamic Monopoly Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000056, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:661465000000000056

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    1. Ausubel, Lawrence M & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 511-531, May.
    2. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-332, April.
    3. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
    4. Gul, Faruk & Sonnenschein, Hugo & Wilson, Robert, 1986. "Foundations of dynamic monopoly and the coase conjecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 155-190, June.
    5. Larry M. Ausubel & Raymond J. Deneckere, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Levine's Working Paper Archive 201, David K. Levine.
    6. Nancy L. Stokey, 1981. "Rational Expectations and Durable Goods Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 112-128, Spring.
    7. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
    8. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-1485, September.
    9. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Infinite-Horizon Models of Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1098, David K. Levine.
    10. Michael Waldman, 2003. "Durable Goods Theory for Real World Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 131-154, Winter.
    11. von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik Morch & Kuhn, Kai-Uwe, 1995. "Coase versus Pacman: Who Eats Whom in the Durable-Goods Monopoly?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 785-812, August.
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