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Keywords:

  • entry;
  • quality signalling;
  • unprejudiced beliefs;
  • D43;
  • D82;
  • L13;
  • M21

ABSTRACT

This paper focuses on competition between an incumbent and an entrant when only the entrant's quality is unknown to (some) consumers. The incumbent may or may not know the entrant's quality. The model reveals a separating equilibrium where the entrant's high price signals its high quality when the proportion of informed consumers is at some intermediate value. The case in which the incumbent knows the entrant's quality generates two additional equilibria. When the proportion of informed consumers is large enough, firms choose their prices as in the complete information case. The entrant's high price in combination with the incumbent's low price signals the entrant's high quality. When the proportion of informed consumers is at some intermediate value, the incumbent's high price signals the entrant's low quality, while its low price signals the entrant's high quality. Interestingly, we find that entry may be facilitated with informational product differentiation.