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Quality Uncertainty and Time Inconsistency in a Durable Good Market

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Listed:
  • Evrim Dener

    () (SMU)

Abstract

In a durable good monopoly where consumers cannot observe quality prior to purchase and product improvement occurs exogenously over time, we show that uncertainty in quality may resolve the time inconsistency problem (even for low levels of product improvement). Higher dispersion in quality creates greater demand for future product by increasing the incentive of buyers with inferior quality realizations to repurchase and this, in turn, reduces the incentive of the seller to cut future price. For various levels of product improvement, we characterize the range of quality uncertainty for which the market equilibrium is identical to one where the monopolist can credibly precommit to future prices. We also show that the presence of quality uncertainty can lead to no trading in the primary good market.

Suggested Citation

  • Evrim Dener, 2007. "Quality Uncertainty and Time Inconsistency in a Durable Good Market," Departmental Working Papers 0707, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:707
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daniel A. Levinthal & Devavrat Purohit, 1989. "Durable Goods and Product Obsolescence," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(1), pages 35-56.
    2. Michael Waldman, 1996. "Planned Obsolescence and the R&D Decision," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 583-595, Autumn.
    3. Jae Nahm, 2004. "Durable-Goods Monopoly with Endogenous Innovation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 303-319, June.
    4. Alessandro Lizzeri & Igal Hendel, 1999. "Adverse Selection in Durable Goods Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1097-1115, December.
    5. Eric W. Bond & Larry Samuelson, 1984. "Durable Good Monopolies with Rational Expectations and Replacement Sales," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 336-345, Autumn.
    6. Jeremy Bulow, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Planned Obsolescence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 729-749.
    7. Waldman, Michael, 1997. "Eliminating the Market for Secondhand Goods: An Alternative Explanation for Leasing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 61-92, April.
    8. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
    9. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    durable goods; dynamic inconsistency; quality uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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