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Asymmetric information and exchange of information about product differentiation

Antonio Brandao and Joana Pinho

FEP Working Papers from Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto

Abstract: We introduce asymmetric information about consumers' transportation costs (i.e., the degree of product differentiation) in the model of Hotelling (1929). When the transportation costs are high, both firms have lower profits than in the case of perfect information. Contrarily, both firms may prefer the asymmetric information case if the transportation costs are low (the informed firm always prefers the informational advantage, while the uninformed firm may or may not prefer to remain uninformed). Information sharing is ex-ante advantageous for the firms, but ex-post damaging in the case of low transportation costs. If the information is not verifiable, the informed firm always tends to announce that the transportation cost is high. To induce truthful revelation: (i) the uninformed firm must pay for the informed firm to confess that the transportation costs are low; and (ii) the informed firm must make a payment (to the uninformed firm or to a third party) for the uninformed firm to believe that the transportation costs are high.

Keywords: Hotelling model; Horizontal differentiation; Asymmetric information; Transportation costs; Information sharing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D43 D82 L13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2010-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-cta and nep-ind
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Related works:
Journal Article: ASYMMETRIC INFORMATION AND EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION ABOUT PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION (2015) Downloads
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