DP5343 | Eliciting Demand Information through Cheap Talk: An Argument in Favour of Price Regulations

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A firm must decide whether to launch a new product. A launch implies considerable fixed costs, so the firm would like to assess downstream demand before it decides. We study under which conditions a potential buyer would be willing to reveal his willingness to pay under different pricing regimes. We show that the firm's welfare - as well as consumers' - may be higher with a commitment to linear pricing than when pricing is unrestricted. That is, if informational asymmetries are significant, price regulations such as the Robinson-Patman Act may be endorsed by all parties.