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Signalling Rivalry and Quality Uncertainty in a Duopoly

  • Bester, Helmut
  • Demuth, Juri

This paper considers price competition in a duopoly with quality uncertainty. The established firm (the `incumbent') offers a quality that is publicly known; the other firm (the `entrant') offers a new good whose quality is not known by some consumers. The incumbent is fully informed about the entrant's quality. This leads to price signalling rivalry because the incumbent gains and the entrant loses if observed prices make the uninformed consumers more pessimistic about the entrant's quality. When the uninformed consumers' beliefs satisfy the `intuitive criterion' and the `unprejudiced belief refinement', prices signal the entrant's quality only in a two-sided separating equilibrium and are identical to the full information outcome.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 400.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:400
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  1. Christian Schultz, 1997. "Limit Pricing when Incumbents have Conflicting Interests," CIE Discussion Papers 1997-17, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  2. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Roy, Santanu, 2010. "Signaling quality through prices in an oligopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 192-207, January.
  4. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008. "Imperfect competition and quality signalling," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 163-183.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  8. 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.
  9. Bester, Helmut & Ritzberger, Klaus, 1998. "Strategic Pricing, Signalling and Costly Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  11. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  12. Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
  13. Linnemer, Laurent, 2002. "Price and advertising as signals of quality when some consumers are informed," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 931-947, September.
  14. Yaron Yehezkel, 2008. "Signaling Quality in an Oligopoly When Some Consumers Are Informed," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 937-972, December.
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