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A Scent of Lemon—Seller Meets Buyer with a Noisy Quality Observation

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Author Info

  • Mark Voorneveld

    (Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden)

  • Jörgen W. Weibull

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
    Department of Economics, École Polytechnique, 91 128 Palaiseau Cedex, France)

Abstract

We consider a market for lemons in which the seller is a monopolistic price setter and the buyer receives a private noisy signal of the product’s quality. We model this as a game and analyze perfect Bayesian equilibrium prices, trading probabilities and gains of trade. In particular, we vary the buyer’s signal precision, from being completely uninformative, as in standard models of lemons markets, to being perfectly informative. We show that high quality units are sold with positive probability even in the limit of uninformative signals, and we identify some discontinuities in the equilibrium predictions at the boundaries of completely uninformative and completely informative signals, respectively.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 163-186

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:2:y:2011:i:1:p:163-186:d:11740

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Related research

Keywords: lemons; adverse selection; noisy quality signals; two-sided incomplete information;

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References

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  1. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  2. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Jörgen Weibull & Lars-Göran Mattsson & Mark Voorneveld, 2007. "Better May be Worse: Some Monotonicity Results and Paradoxes in Discrete Choice Under Uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 121-151, September.
  5. Julien Prat & Carlos Alos-Ferrer, 2007. "Job Market Signaling and Employer Learning," 2007 Meeting Papers 648, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Bester, Helmut & Ritzberger, Klaus, 1998. "Strategic Pricing, Signalling and Costly Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Ellingsen, Tore, 1997. "Price signals quality: The case of perfectly inelastic demand," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 43-61, November.
  8. Nick Feltovich & Richmond Harbaugh & Ted To, 2002. "Too Cool for School? Signalling and Countersignalling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 630-649, Winter.
  9. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Prat, Julien, 2012. "Job market signaling and employer learning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1787-1817.

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