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Eliciting Demand Information through Cheap Talk: An Argument in Favor of Price Regulations

Author

Listed:
  • Lars Frisell

    (Sveriges Riksbank)

  • Johan N.M. Lagerlof

    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Abstract

A firm must decide whether to launch a new product. A launch implies considerable fixed costs, so the firm would like to assess downstream demand before it decides. We study under which conditions a potential buyer would be willing to reveal his willingness to pay under different pricing regimes. We show that the firm's welfare -- as well as consumers' -- may be higher with a commitment to linear pricing than when pricing is unrestricted. That is, if informational asymmetries are significant, price regulations such as the Robinson-Patman Act may be endorsed by all parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars Frisell & Johan N.M. Lagerlof, 2005. "Eliciting Demand Information through Cheap Talk: An Argument in Favor of Price Regulations," Industrial Organization 0510011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0510011
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 13
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Farrell, Joseph & Gibbons, Robert, 1995. "Cheap Talk about Specific Investments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 313-334, October.
    2. John Riley & Richard Zeckhauser, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-289.
    3. Schmalensee, Richard, 1981. "Output and Welfare Implications of Monopolistic Third-Degree Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 242-247, March.
    4. Katz, Michael L, 1987. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 154-167, March.
    5. Varian, Hal R, 1985. "Price Discrimination and Social Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 870-875, September.
    6. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price regulations; price discrimination; incomplete information; cheap talk; Robinson-Patman Act;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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