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Signalling rivalry and quality uncertainty in a duopoly

  • Bester, Helmut
  • Demuth, Juri

This paper considers a market in which only the incumbent's quality is publicly known. The entrant's quality is observed by the incumbent and some fraction of informed consumers. This leads to price signalling rivalry between the duopolists, because the incumbent gains and the entrant loses when 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, only a two-sided separating equilibrium can exist and prices are identical to the full information outcome.

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Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2011/20.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201120
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  1. Bester, Helmut & Ritzberger, Klaus, 1998. "Strategic Pricing, Signalling and Costly Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008. "Imperfect competition and quality signalling," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 163-183.
  8. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  9. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Schultz, Christian, 1999. "Limit pricing when incumbents have conflicting interests," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 801-825, August.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Santanu Roy, 2007. "Signaling Quality Through Prices in an Oligopoly," Departmental Working Papers 0709, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
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