This paper analyzes how advertising can be used to mislead rivals in an oligopoly environment with demand uncertainty. In particular, we examine a two-period game in which two firms each sell a differentiated product whose attractiveness vis-à-vis the competitor's product is unknown. In each period, a firm sets prices for its product and exerts an advertising effort that is imperfectly observed by the rival later on. Advertising is persuasive in that it enhances willingness to pay, but it can also be used to manipulate rivals' beliefs about initially unobservable differences in consumers' quality perceptions. In equilibrium, each firm uses advertising to persuade consumers and to interfere with the rival's learning about this unknown dimension of demand. This can be done because the effect of imperfectly observed advertising cannot be separated out of the effect of the unknown quality differential, which creates a signal extraction problem for the competitor. There always exists acontinuum of (symmetric) equilibria, but refining the equilibrium set selects out a unique one in which firms price in the first-period as in the static equilibrium, whereas the misinformative usage of advertising makes firms under advertise if and only if the marginal cost of advertising is high enough.
|Date of creation:||15 Jul 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.iese.edu/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Vives, Xavier, 2006.
"Strategic complementarity in multi-stage games,"
IESE Research Papers
D/619, IESE Business School.
- Avinash Dixit & Victor Norman, 1978. "Advertising and Welfare," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
- Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 1997.
"Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment,"
STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series
333, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Joseph B. Mazzola & Kevin F. McCardle, 1996. "A Bayesian Approach to Managing Learning-Curve Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(5), pages 680-692, May.
- David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998.
Levine's Working Paper Archive
237, David K. Levine.
- Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991.
"High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-39, March.
- Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2001.
"Price Dispersion and Learning in a Dynamic Differentiated-Goods Duopoly,"
Discussion Papers in Economics
21, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2003. " Price Dispersion and Learning in a Dynamic Differentiated-Goods Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 138-65, Spring.
- Keller, R Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2001. "Price Dispersion and Learning in a Dynamic Differentiated-Goods Duopoly," CEPR Discussion Papers 2919, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- James D. Dana, 2000.
"Competition in Price and Availability when Availability is Unobservable,"
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
1450, Econometric Society.
- Dana, James D, Jr, 2001. "Competition in Price and Availability When Availability is Unobservable," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 497-513, Autumn.
- Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81, January.
- Mailath, George J, 1987. "Incentive Compatibility in Signaling Games with a Continuum of Types," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1349-65, November.
- Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
- Michael H. Riordan, 1985. "Imperfect Information and Dynamic Conjectural Variations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 41-50, Spring.
- Ramon Caminal & Xavier Vives, 1996. "Why Market Shares Matter: An Information-Based Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 221-239, Summer.
- Horstmann, Ignatius & MacDonald, Glenn, 2003. "Is advertising a signal of product quality? Evidence from the compact disc player market, 1983-1992," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 317-345, March.
- Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
- McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1986. "A "Signal-Jamming" Theory of Predation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 366-376, Autumn.
- Mark N. Hertzendorf, 1993. "I'm Not a High-Quality Firm -- But I Play One on TV," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 236-247, Summer.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0809. 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: (Noelia Romero)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.