NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A New Model of Quality

Kala Krishna, Tor Winston

NBER Working Paper No. 6580
Issued in May 1998
NBER Program(s):   ITI

We develop a new model of quality to capture the idea that even if a customer chooses to purchase a product, it may fail to deliver.' In this event, the customer may wish to choose some other product. We model this as a two stage game where firms first choose quality and then price. We find that in equilibrium, the high quality firm (the one with a higher probability of being able to deliver') will always make higher profits than the low quality one even if costs of quality are sharply increasing. Our work thus provides a reason for high quality niches to be inherently more profitable. The implications for welfare and equilibrium under free entry are also studied.

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Published: Krishna, Kala and Tor Winston. "If At First You Don't Succeed...: Profits, Prices, And Market Structure In A Model Of Quality With Unknowable Consumer Heterogeneity," International Economic Review, 2003, v44(2,May), 573-597.

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