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Information in Cournot: Signaling with Incomplete Control




We embed signaling in the classical Cournot model in which several firms sell a homogeneous good. The quality is known to all the firms, but only to some buyers. The quantity-setting firms can manipulate the price to signal quality. Because there is only one price in a market for a homogeneous good, each firm incompletely controls the price-signal through the quantity decision. We characterize the unique signaling Cournot equilibrium in which the price signals quality to the uninformed buyers. We then compare the signaling Cournot equilibrium with the full-information Cournot equilibrium. Signaling is shown to increase the equilibrium price. Moreover, under certain conditions regarding the composition of buyers, the number of firms, and the distribution of costs across firms, the effects of signalling and market externality cancel each other. In other words, the profits under signaling Cournot equal the profits of a cartel in a full-information environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Wassim DAHER & Leonard J. MIRMAN & Marc Santugini, 2009. "Information in Cournot: Signaling with Incomplete Control," Cahiers de recherche 09-09, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée, revised Nov 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:0909

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:2:p:163-182 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Catherine Gendron-Saulnier & Marc Santugini, 2013. "The Informational Benefit of Price Discrimination," Cahiers de recherche 13-02, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    3. 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.

    More about this item


    Cournot; Homogeneous good; Learning; Quality; Signaling.;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • 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
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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