Producers bargaining over a quality standard
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.
|Date of creation:||30 Dec 2005|
|Date of revision:||18 Jan 2006|
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- Crampes, Claude & Hollander, Abraham, 1995.
"Duopoly and quality standards,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 71-82, January.
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"Minimum Quality Standards and Collusion,"
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Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 101-13, March.
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- Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-45, November.
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