Signaling Quality Through Prices in an Oligopoly
Firms signal high quality through high prices even if the market structure is highly competitive and price competition is severe. In a symmetric Bertrand oligopoly where products may differ only in their quality, production cost is increasing in quality and the quality of each firm's product is private information (not known to consumers or to other firms), we show that there exist fully revealing equilibria in mixed strategies. In such equilibria, low quality firms enjoy market power when other firms are of high quality. High quality firms charge higher prices than low quality firms but lose business to rival firms with higher probability. Some of the revealing equilibria involve high degree of market power (price close to full information monopoly level) while others are more "competitive". Under certain conditions, if the number of firms is large enough, information is revealed in every equilibrium.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2007|
|Date of revision:||Nov 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496|
Web page: http://www.smu.edu/economics
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Maarten Janssen & Eric Rasmusen, 2001.
"Bertrand Competition Under Uncertainty,"
CIRJE-F-117, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
- Maarten Janssen & Eric Rasmusen, 2000. "Bertrand Competition Under Uncertainty," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1309, Econometric Society.
- Eric Rasmusen, 1996. "Bertrand Competition Under Uncertainty," Industrial Organization 9607002, EconWPA.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum & Andrew F. Daughety, 2004.
"Secrecy and Safety,"
Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings
53, Econometric Society.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2003. "Secrecy and Safety," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0317, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Sep 2003.
- Andrew Daughety & Jennifer Reinganum, . "Secrecy and Safety," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1039, American Law & Economics Association.
- Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1986.
"Price competition in a capacity-constrained duopoly,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-260, April.
- Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1983. "Price Competition in a Capacity-Constrained Duopoly," Working Papers 83-08, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
- Cho, In-Koo & Sobel, Joel, 1990. "Strategic stability and uniqueness in signaling games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 381-413, April.
- Fershtman, Chaim, 1982. "Price dispersion in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 389-401, December.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
896, David K. Levine.
- Dirk Bergemann & Juuso VÃ¤limÃ¤ki, 2006. "Dynamic Pricing of New Experience Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 713-743, August.
- Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991.
"High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-39, March.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1978.
"A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion,"
335, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
- Bagwell, Kyle, 1992.
"Pricing to Signal Product Line Quality,"
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 151-74, Spring.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008.
"Imperfect competition and quality signalling,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 163-183.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2005. "Imperfect Competition and Quality Signaling," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0520, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Spulber, Daniel F, 1995. "Bertrand Competition When Rivals' Costs Are Unknown," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 1-11, March.
- Asher Wolinsky, 1983. "Prices as Signals of Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 647-658.
- Khan, M. Ali Khan, 2007.
2202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Optimal Pricing of Experience Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 497-507, Autumn.
- Mark N. Herzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Prices as Signals of Quality in Duopoly," CIE Discussion Papers 2001-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
- Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
- Helmut Bester, 1998. "Quality Uncertainty Mitigates Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 828-844, Winter.
- Ellingsen, Tore, 1997. "Price signals quality: The case of perfectly inelastic demand," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 43-61, November.
- Claude Fluet & Paolo G. Garella, 1999.
"Advertising and Prices as Signals of Quality in a Regime of Price Rivalry,"
Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM
9903, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
- Fluet, Claude & Garella, Paolo G., 2002. "Advertising and prices as signals of quality in a regime of price rivalry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 907-930, September.
- Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
- Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:709. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bo Chen)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.