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THE DETERMINANTS OF THE QUANTITY-QUALITY BALANCE IN MONOPOLY *

By HUGH SIBLY

Abstract

This paper describes how a monopolist manipulates the balance of quantity and quality in order to increase revenue when its customers treat quantity and quality as substitutes. This 'skewing' of quality depends on the characteristics of customer's demand for quality. Customers differ in demand for quality, because they differ in either (i) their preferences and/or (ii) their time cost per unit. The monopolist is constrained to supply the same quality of good to all customers. The price and quality per unit are described under the assumption the monopolist (i) profit maximises; (ii) maximises social welfare subject to a profit constraint. The determinants of the skewing of quantity and quality are found under third-degree price discrimination and uniform pricing. Copyright 2009 The Author. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1467-8454.2009.00364.x
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