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The Informational Role of Prices

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We study the informational role of prices. To that end, we consider the framework of a dominant firm with a competitive fringe. When the competitive fringe is large enough, there exists a unique fully revealing equilibrium, in which the price conveys full information about the quality of the good to uninformed buyers. Deceiving the uninformed buyers by charging a high price and mimicking a high quality is not profitable when the competitive fringe is large enough. Since a higher price triggers more sales on the part of the competitive fringe, residual demand and thus profits are reduced. We also study the effect of asymmetric information and learning on the equilibrium outcomes. More uninformed buyers increases the price, reduces the quantity sold by the dominant firm, but increases the quantity sold by the competitive fringe.

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  • Leonard J. Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2008. "The Informational Role of Prices," Cahiers de recherche 08-09, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée, revised Apr 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:0809
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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leonard J. Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2011. "The Simple Analytics of Price Signaling Quality," Cahiers de recherche 11-04, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    2. Mirman, Leonard J. & Salgueiro, Egas M. & Santugini, Marc, 2014. "Noisy signaling in monopoly," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 504-511.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric information; Dominant Firm with Fringe Competition; Informational externality; Learning; Quality; Signaling.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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