Investments in Quality, Collective Reputation and Information Acquisition

43 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2013  

Fulvio Fontini

University of Padova - Department of Economics and Management "Marco Fanno"

Katrin Millock

Paris School of Economics (PSE); CNRS

Michele Moretto

University of Padua - Department of Economics; Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)

Date Written: June 19, 2013


In many cases consumers cannot observe firms’ investment in quality or safety, but have only beliefs on the average quality of the industry. In addition, the outcome of the collective investment game of the firms may be stochastic since firms cannot control perfectly the technology or external factors that may affect production. In such situations, when only consumers’ subjective perceptions of the industry level of quality matter, the regulator may make information available to firms or subsidize their information acquisition. Under what conditions is it desirable to make information available? We show how firms’ overall level of investment in quality depends upon the parameters of the quality accumulation process, the cost of investment and the number of firms in the industry. We also show the potentially negative effects on the total level of quality from providing information on consumers’ actual valuation.

Keywords: Collective Reputation, Option Value, Quality

JEL Classification: C73, D92, L15, Q52

Suggested Citation

Fontini, Fulvio and Millock, Katrin and Moretto, Michele, Investments in Quality, Collective Reputation and Information Acquisition (June 19, 2013). FEEM Working Paper No. 53.2013. Available at SSRN: or

Katrin E. Millock (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

CNRS ( email )

3, rue Michel-Ange
Paris, 75794

Michele Moretto

University of Padua - Department of Economics ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
+39 049 8274265 (Phone)
+39 049 8274211 (Fax)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan

No contact information is available for Fulvio Fontini

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