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Import restraints and quality choice under vertical differentiation

Nicolas Boccard () and Xavier Wauthy

No 1998018, LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE from Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Abstract: We consider the following stage game : a domestic government chooses an import quota, then a domestic and a foreign firm choose their quality level before engaging a price competition. We first show that the indirect effect of the quota on the sales of the domestic producer are different depending on whether his product quality is high or low. The analysis developed in Krishna [89] has to be amended when vertical, instead of horizontal, product differentiation applies. Despite the nonexistence of pure strategy Nash equilibria, we characterise all equilibria of the pricing game and solve the quality choice game : for loose quotas, both firms choose top quality while only one differentiates for tighter quotas. The optimal quota for the domestic government reduces the price competition and enables both firms to upgrade to the highest possible quality level for the benefit of domestic consumers. On the contrary, the foreign firm would prefer a very loose quota that generates quality differentiation and larger profits for her

Keywords: International Trade; Quality; Optimal Quota; Price Competition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D43 F13 L13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998-02-01
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Working Paper: Import Restraints and Quality Choice Under Vertical Differentiation (1998)
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