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Regulating a Monopolist with unknown costs and unknown quality capacity


  • Blackorby, Charles

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Szalay, Dezsö

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)


We study the regulation of a firm with unknown demand and cost information. In contrast to previous studies, we assume demand is influenced by a quality choice, and the firm has private information about its quality capacity in addition to its cost. Under natural conditions, asymmetric information about the quality capacity is irrelevant. The optimal pricing is weakly above marginal costs for all types and no type is excluded.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackorby, Charles & Szalay, Dezsö, 2008. "Regulating a Monopolist with unknown costs and unknown quality capacity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 858, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:858

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
    2. Paul Beaudry & Charles Blackorby & Dezsö Szalay, 2009. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 216-242, March.
    3. Armstrong, Mark, 1999. "Optimal Regulation with Unknown Demand and Cost Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 196-215, February.
    4. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 2000. "The Optimal Mechanism for Selling to a Budget-Constrained Buyer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 198-233, June.
    5. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Standard Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-21.
    6. Mirrlees, James A, 1997. "Information and Incentives: The Economics of Carrots and Sticks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1311-1329, September.
    7. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1999. "Multidimensional Mechanism Design for Auctions with Externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 258-293, April.
    8. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
    9. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, July.
    10. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, Charles & Szalay, Dezso, 2006. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs (Revised Version)," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 779, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    11. Garud Iyengar & Anuj Kumar, 2008. "Optimal procurement mechanisms for divisible goods with capacitated suppliers," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 12(2), pages 129-154, June.
    12. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1988. "Multidimensional incentive compatibility and mechanism design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 335-354, December.
    13. Armstrong, Mark & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Multi-dimensional screening:: A user's guide," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 959-979, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mierendorff, Konrad, 2016. "Optimal dynamic mechanism design with deadlines," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 190-222.

    More about this item


    Asymmetric Information ; Multi-dimensional Screening ; Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm

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