DP10036 | Competitive Screening under Heterogeneous Information

Publication Date

22/06/2014

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Abstract

We study competition in price-quality menus when consumers privately know their valuation for quality (type), and are heterogeneously informed about the offers available in the market. While firms are ex-ante identical, the menus offered in equilibrium are ordered so that more generous menus leave more surplus uniformly over types. More generous menus provide quality more efficiently, serve a larger range of consumers, and generate a greater fraction of profits from sales of low-quality goods. By varying the mass of competing firms, or the level of informational frictions, we span the entire spectrum of competitive intensity, from perfect competition to monopoly.