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Informative Advertising In Monopolistically Competitive Markets

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  • Creane, Anthony
  • Manduchi, Agostino

Abstract

In their seminal paper Grossman and Shapiro (1984) find that informative advertising is socially excessive in an oligopoly (entry is also socially excessive). However, the analysis assumed that all consumers receive at least one advertisement. Christou and Vettas (2008), among others, present counter-examples in alternative settings, showing when the assumption does not hold, the equilibrium advertising may, instead, be inefficiently low. Christou and Vettas (2008) also show there may be non-existence due to discontinuities from undercutting, that quasiconcavity may not hold, and present examples in which the equilibrium does not exist as firms would deviate to a higher price. We revisit the question by modeling firms (like consumers) as a continuum, which mitigates the discontinuity that exists in both papers and allows the general analysis to include the cases when some consumers receive no advertisements. As a result, we are able to derive explicit and intuitive conditions for an equilibrium. More importantly, we find, instead, that advertising is socially insufficient regardless of the fraction of the consumers who receive an ad, including when all consumers receive at least one ad. We also find that there is insufficient entry instead of excess entry. We provide intuition for the difference between our and previous results.

Suggested Citation

  • Creane, Anthony & Manduchi, Agostino, 2019. "Informative Advertising In Monopolistically Competitive Markets," MPRA Paper 92126, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:92126
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/95053/5/MPRA_paper_95053.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81.
    2. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    3. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    4. Carl Shapiro, 1980. "Advertising and Welfare: Comment," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 749-752, Autumn.
    5. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
    6. Christou, C. & Vettas, N., 2008. "On informative advertising and product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 92-112, January.
    7. Arthur Fishman & Nadav Levy, 2015. "Search Costs and Investment in Quality," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 625-641, December.
    8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
    9. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
    10. Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: Mark Armstrong & Robert Porter (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1701-1844, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Creane, Anthony, 2020. "On the existence of the competitive equilibrium in Grossman and Shapiro (1984)," MPRA Paper 102074, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informative advertising; product differentiation; monopolistic competition; welfare.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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