Competition through Commissions and Kickbacks
AbstractIn markets for retail financial products and health services, consumers often rely on the advice of intermediaries to decide which specialized offering best fits their needs. Product providers, in turn, compete to influence the intermediaries' advice through hidden kickbacks or disclosed commissions. Motivated by the controversial role of these widespread practices, we formulate a model to analyze competition through commissions from a positive and normative standpoint. The model highlights the role of commissions in making the advisor responsive to supply-side incentives. We characterize situations when commonly adopted policies such as mandatory disclosure and caps on commissions have unintended welfare consequences. (JEL D21, D82, D83, G21, L15, L25)
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
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