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Lectures in Microeconomics-Charles W. Upton The Keith-Leffler Model

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The Problem Suppose it costs $10 to make a high quality product. Competition will force the price to $10. Hence –If you can make a low quality product for $5 and pass if off you can make money until caught. –But there is no reward for making a high quality product.

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The Keith-Leffler Model Assumptions Two levels of quality, q high and q min.

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The Keith-Leffler Model Assumptions Two levels of quality, q high and q min. Higher quality products cost more to produce. The cost function is C(X,q high ) or C(X,q min ).

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The Keith-Leffler Model More Assumptions The public cannot tell in advance whether a firm produces a high quality or a low quality product, but can after a year.

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The Keith-Leffler Model More Assumptions The public cannot tell in advance whether a firm produces a high quality or a low quality product, but can after a year. Consumers know - don’t ask how - the minimum cost of producing both q high and q min.

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? AC(X,q min ) MC(X,q min )

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? AC(X,q min ) AC(X,q high ) MC(X,q min ) MC(X,q high )

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The Keith-Leffler Model Three Strategies Be honest. Produce a low quality product and sell it at the low price. Be honest. Produce a high quality product and sell it at the high price.

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The Keith-Leffler Model Three Strategies Be honest. Produce a low quality product and sell it at the low price. Be honest. Produce a high quality product and sell it at the high price. Cheat. Produce a low quality product, label it a high quality product and sell for a year at the high price.

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The Keith-Leffler Model Profits Be honest. Produce a low quality product and sell it at the low price. = 0 Be honest. Produce a high quality product and sell it a the high price. = 0 Cheat. Produce a low quality product, label it a high quality product and sell for a year at the high price. Let’s see

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? AC(X,q min ) AC(X,q high ) MC(X,q min ) MC(X,q high )

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? P P

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? Optimal production for low quality product P P

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? Optimal production for low quality product ππ

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? Extra production due to spurious higher price ππ

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? Extra production due to spurious higher price π1π1 π 2

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? π1π1 π2π2 Honesty =0 Cheating =( π 1 + π 2 )/(1+r)

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The Keith-Leffler Model Produce High or Low Quality? π1π1 π2π2 Honesty may be its own reward but not here

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The Keith-Leffler Model The Incentive for Honesty π1π1 π2π2 Now suppose there is a premium for honesty P*

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The Keith-Leffler Model The Incentive for Honesty π1π1 π2π2 The honest firm produces here P*

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The Keith-Leffler Model The Incentive for Honesty Its profit is the area A P* A

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The Keith-Leffler Model The Dishonest Firm Does More P*

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The Keith-Leffler Model Its Profits P* A B D C

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The Keith-Leffler Model Its Profits P* A B D C B+C Profits from cheating

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The Keith-Leffler Model Its Profits P* A B D C A Profits from the premium for honesty

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The Keith-Leffler Model Its Profits P* A B D C D Profits form cheating on the premium for honesty

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The Keith-Leffler Model The Difference P* A B D C The Cheat earns A +B+C+D once

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The Keith-Leffler Model The Difference P* A B D C The Cheat earns A +B+C+D once The Honest Firm earns A again and again

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The Keith-Leffler Model To Cheat or Not to Cheat P* A B D C The Cheat earns A +B+C+D once The Honest Firm earns A again and again

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The Keith-Leffler Model End ©2004 Charles W. Upton

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