Better Product Quality May Lead to Lower Product Price
Régis Chenavaz ()
The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, 2017, vol. 17, issue 1, 22
This article analyzes the conditions under which better product quality implies higher or lower product price. In an optimal control framework, I make the following assumptions: The firm sets the dynamic pricing and product innovation policies; product innovation raises quality, which drives production cost, and consumers are sensitive to price and quality. I derive a rule of price-quality relationship that stresses the influence of quality on price through the effects of cost (positive), sales (negative), and markup (positive). This article shows that, while maximizing profit and despite a quality and cost increases, the firm may decrease product prices because of the possibility of generating more sales as a result of combining better quality with lower price. This sales effect solves the puzzle of a negative price-quality relationship. More generally, the sales effect mitigates the ability of price to convey information about quality.
Keywords: price-quality relationship; dynamic pricing; product quality; product innovation; quality-based cost; optimal control (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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