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Signals Sell: Product Lines when Consumers Differ Both in Taste for Quality and Image Concern

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  • Friedrichsen, Jana

    (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Abstract

This paper analyzes optimal product lines when consumers differ both in their taste for quality and in their desire for social image. The market outcome features partial pooling and product differentiation that is not driven by heterogeneous valuations for quality but by image concerns. A typical monopoly outcome is a two-tier product line resembling a \"masstige\" strategy as observed in luxury goods markets. Products can have identical quality and differ only in price and image, thereby rationalizing quality-equivalent line extensions. Under competition, both average quality and market coverage are (weakly) higher but monopoly can yield higher welfare than competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedrichsen, Jana, 2018. "Signals Sell: Product Lines when Consumers Differ Both in Taste for Quality and Image Concern," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 70, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
  • Handle: RePEc:rco:dpaper:70
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:115:y:2019:i:c:p:1-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:61-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. George Deltas & Eleftherios Zacharias, 2018. "Product Proliferation and Pricing in a Market with Positional Effects," Working Papers 242312853, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    4. Friedrichsen, Jana & Engelmann, Dirk, 2018. "Who cares about social image?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 61-77.
    5. Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Köster, Mats & Peiseler, Florian, 2019. "Attention-driven demand for bonus contracts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 1-24.
    6. Heidhues, Paul & Köszegi, Botond, 2018. "Behavioral Industrial Organization," CEPR Discussion Papers 12988, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Markus Dertwinkel-Kalt & Mats Köster & Florian Peiseler, 2019. "Attention-driven demand for bonus contracts," CESifo Working Paper Series 7539, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    image concern; conspicuous consumption; two-dimensional screening; nonlinear pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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