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Producers bargaining over a quality standard

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  • Argenton, Cédric

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

We study an asymmetric information model in which two firms are active on a market where buyers only observe the average quality supplied. Quantities and cost structures are exogenously given and firms compete in quality. Before choosing their qualities, they bargain over a perfectly enforcable minimum quality standard. The bargaining outcome is given by the Kalai-Smorodinsky (KS) solution. Agreement on a binding standard is possible only if the firms are sufficiently similar with respect to their production costs. The agreed-upon standard always falls short of the joint-profit-maximizing (or, for that matter, the efficient) level. It is decreasing in the high-cost producer's cost of production. Yet, it first increases then decreases with the low-cost producer's cost of production, showing that the latter's bargaining position can be enhanced by seemingly adverse cost changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Argenton, Cédric, 2005. "Producers bargaining over a quality standard," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 618, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 May 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0618
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    File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0618.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Crampes, Claude & Hollander, Abraham, 1995. "Duopoly and quality standards," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 71-82, January.
    3. Thomson, William, 1994. "Cooperative models of bargaining," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 35, pages 1237-1284 Elsevier.
    4. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-245, November.
    5. Ecchia, Giulio & Lambertini, Luca, 1997. "Minimum Quality Standards and Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 101-113, March.
    6. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "A Model of Forum Shopping, with Special Reference to Standard Setting Organizations," NBER Working Papers 10664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Napel & Gunnar Oldehaver, 2011. "A dynamic perspective on minimum quality standards under Cournot competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 29-49, February.
    2. Stefan Napel & Gunnar Oldehaver, 2007. "Static Costs vs. Dynamic Benefits of a Minimum Quality Standard under Cournot Competition," Discussion Papers 23, Aboa Centre for Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asymmetric information; minimum quality standard; duopoly; bargaining; free riding.;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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