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High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality

  • Kyle Bagwell
  • Michael Riordan

High and declining prices signal a high-quality product. High prices are the efficient means of signaling, because the consequent loss of sales volume is most damaging for lower-cost, lower-quality products. As time passes and the number of informed consumers increases, the signaling distortion lessens, resulting in a declining price profile. The prediction of high and declining prices is robust across a variety of dynamic models and is consistent with recent empirical findings. Copyright 1991 by American Economic Association.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 808.

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Date of creation: Oct 1988
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:808
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  1. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  2. Wolinsky, Asher, 1983. "Prices as Signals of Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 647-58, October.
  3. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Retail Pricing and Clearance Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 14-32, March.
  4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
  5. Cho, In-Koo, 1987. "A Refinement of Sequential Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1367-89, November.
  6. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
  7. Nancy L. Stokey, 1981. "Rational Expectations and Durable Goods Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 112-128, Spring.
  8. Cooper, Russell & Ross, Thomas W., 1985. "Monopoly provision of product quality with uninformed buyers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 439-449, December.
  9. Gerard J. Tellis & Birger Wernerfelt, 1987. "Competitive Price and Quality Under Asymmetric Information," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 6(3), pages 240-253.
  10. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  11. KOHLBERG, Elon & MERTENS, Jean-François, . "On the strategic stability of equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers RP -716, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1986. "Equilibrium Price Dynamics for an Experience Good," Discussion Papers 705, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Cooper, Russell & Ross, Thomas W, 1984. "Prices, Product Qualities and Asymmetric Information: The Competitive Case," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 197-207, April.
  14. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "Prices and Qualities in Markets with Costly Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 499-516, October.
  15. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Optimal Pricing of Experience Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 497-507, Autumn.
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