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Minimum Quality Standards and Consumers Information

  • Paolo Garella

    ()

    (University of Milano, Italy)

  • Emmanuel Petrakis

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)

The literature so far has analyzed the effects of Minimum Quality Standards in oligopoly, using models of pure vertical differentiation, with only two firms, and perfect information. We analyze products that are differentiated horizontally and vertically, with imperfect consumers information, and more than two firms. We show that a MQS changes the consumers’ perception of produced qualities. This increases the firms’ returns from quality enhancing investments, notwithstanding contrary strategic effects. As a consequence, MQS policies may be desirable as both, firms and consumers, can gain. This contrasts with previous results in the literature and provides a justification for the use of MQS to improve social welfare.

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Paper provided by University of Crete, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0510.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 16 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crt:wpaper:0510
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  1. Scarpa, Carlo, 1998. "Minimum quality standards with more than two firms1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 665-676, September.
  2. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
  3. Wauthy, Xavier, 1996. "Quality Choice in Models of Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 345-53, September.
  4. Paolo Garella, 2006. ""Innocuous" Minimum Quality Standards," Working Papers 0606, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  5. Lutz, Stefan & Lyon, Thomas P & Maxwell, John W, 2000. "Quality Leadership When Regulatory Standards Are Forthcoming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 331-48, September.
  6. Khan, M. Ali Khan, 2007. "Perfect Competition," MPRA Paper 2202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Quality variations and maximal variety differentiation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 21-29, February.
  8. Crampes, C. & Hollander, A., 1991. "Duopoly and Quality Standards," Cahiers de recherche 9128, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  9. Symeonidis, George, 2002. "Comparing Cournot and Bertrand Equilibria in a Differentiated Duopoly with Product R&D," Economics Discussion Papers 3692, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
  11. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Differentiation and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 407-14, May.
  12. Fluet, Claude & Garella, Paolo G., 2002. "Advertising and prices as signals of quality in a regime of price rivalry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 907-930, September.
  13. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  14. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-45, November.
  15. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
  16. Ecchia, Giulio & Lambertini, Luca, 1997. "Minimum Quality Standards and Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 101-13, March.
  17. Naoto Jinji & Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu, 2004. "Minimum Quality Standards under Asymmetric Duopoly with Endogenous Quality Ordering: A Note," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 189-199, 09.
  18. Chrysovalantou Milliou & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2004. "Business-to-business electronic marketplaces: Joining a public or creating a private," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 99-112.
  19. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-46, December.
  20. Häckner, Jonas, 1999. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Research Papers in Economics 1999:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  21. P. Garella, 2003. "The Effects of Minimum Quality Standards: Better or Worse Products?," Working Papers 484, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  22. Maxwell, John W., 1998. "Minimum quality standards as a barrier to innovation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 355-360, March.
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