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Minimum Quality Standards and Equilibrium Selection with Asymmetric Firms

In a vertically differentiated market with cost asymmetries, the risk dominance criterion selects the equilibrium where the high quality is produced by the efficient firm. We show that a sufficiently high MinimumQuality Standard reverses equilibrium selection. Hence, MQS may be used in order to increase a domestic firm’s profit at the expense of a more efficient foreign rival. This produces higher domestic and lower world welfare. Since the protectionist impact of MQS comes through equilibrium targeting rather than directly affecting equilibrium outcomes, it cannot be easily detected.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Macedonia in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2008_13.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision: Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2008_13
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.uom.gr/index.php?tmima=3

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  1. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
  2. Zhou, Dongsheng & Spencer, Barbara J. & Vertinsky, Ilan, 2002. "Strategic trade policy with endogenous choice of quality and asymmetric costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 205-232, January.
  3. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-45, November.
  4. Carlsson, H. & van Damme, E.E.C., 1990. "Global games and equilibrium selection," Discussion Paper 1990-52, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. J. B. Van Huyck & R. C. Battalio & R. O. Beil, 2010. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000393, David K. Levine.
  6. Motta, Massimo, 1993. "Endogenous Quality Choice: Price vs. Quantity Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 113-31, June.
  7. Massimo MOTTA & Jean-François THISSE & Antonio CABRALES, 1996. "On the Persistence of Leadership or Leapfrogging in International Trade," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9625, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  8. Fischer, Ronald & Serra, Pablo, 2000. "Standards and protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 377-400, December.
  9. Nicolas Boccard & Xavier Wauthy, 2005. "Enforcing Domestic Quality Dominance through Quotas," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 250-261, 05.
  10. Naoto Jinji & Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu, 2004. "Minimum Quality Standards under Asymmetric Duopoly with Endogenous Quality Ordering: A Note," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 189-199, 09.
  11. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
  12. Ecchia, Giulio & Lambertini, Luca, 1997. "Minimum Quality Standards and Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 101-13, March.
  13. Antonio Cabrales & Walter Garcia Fontes & Massimo Motta, 1997. "Risk dominance selects the leader. An experimental analysis," Economics Working Papers 222, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  14. Boom, Anette, 1995. "Asymmetric International Minimum Quality Standards and Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 101-19, March.
  15. Das, Satya P. & Donnenfeld, Shabtai, 1989. "Oligopolistic competition and international trade : Quantity and quality restrictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3-4), pages 299-318, November.
  16. Scarpa, Carlo, 1998. "Minimum quality standards with more than two firms1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 665-676, September.
  17. Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose Luis & Viaene, Jean-Marie, 2005. "Trade policy and quality leadership in transition economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 359-385, February.
  18. Herguera, Inigo & Kujal, Praveen & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2002. "Tariffs, quality reversals and exit in vertically differentiated industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 467-492, December.
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