A New Model of Quality
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.
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.