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879期 4月19日 :Confusion, polarization and competition(Andreas Hefti, 苏黎世大学经济系高级副研究员)

【主讲】Andreas Hefti (苏黎世大学经济系高级副研究员)

【主题】Confusion, polarization and competition

【时间】2018年4月19日 (周四) 15:30-17:00

【地点】上海财经大学经济学院楼701室

【语言】英文

【摘要】Do firms seek to make a market transparent or do they want to manipulate the perception of product characteristics? We study this question in a duopoly model, where consumer preferences may or may not be correlated, and firms compete for consumers by influencing the perceptions of products. By obfuscating the properties of their products or by means of other activities, such as deceptive, evocative or emotional advertising or shockvertising, firms introduce noise to the perceived valuations of consumers. We show that such noise is harmful for firms if the preference distribution is polarized. In such situations, firms seek to educate consumers. On the contrary, obfuscation arises in equilibrium if the preference distribution features a concentration of undecided consumers. Compared to the case of homogeneous goods, the welfare consequences of obfuscation are more severe as consumers may end up with the wrong good, not only with higher prices.

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