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Asymmetric Information and Adverse Selection in Mauritian Slave Auctions

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  • Georges Dionne
  • Pascal St-Amour
  • Désiré Vencatachellum

Abstract

Information asymmetry is a necessary prerequisite for testing adverse selection. This paper applies this sequence of tests to Mauritian slave auctions. The theory of dynamic auctions with private and common values suggests that when an informed participant is known to be active, uninformed bidders will be more aggressive and the selling price will be higher. We conjecture that observable family links between buyer and seller entailed superior information and find a strong price premium when a related buyer purchased a slave, indicative of information asymmetry. We then test for adverse selection using sale motivation. Our results indicate large discounts on voluntary as compared to involuntary sales. Consistent with adverse selection, the market anticipated that predominantly low-productivity slaves would be brought to the market in voluntary sales. Copyright 2009, Wiley-Blackwell.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00561.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 76 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1269-1295

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:4:p:1269-1295

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Cited by:
  1. Georges Dionne, 2012. "The Empirical Measure of Information Problems with Emphasis on Insurance Fraud and Dynamic Data," Cahiers de recherche 1233, CIRPEE.
  2. Février, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent & Visser, Michael, 2012. "Testing for asymmetric information in the viager market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 104-123.
  3. Georges Dionne & Nathalie Fombaron & Neil Doherty, 2012. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Contracting," Cahiers de recherche 1231, CIRPEE.
  4. Yamamoto, Shinichi & Yoneyama, Takau & Kwon, W. Jean, 2012. "An Experimental Study On Adverse Selection And Moral Hazard," Hitotsubashi Journal of commerce and management, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 46(1), pages 51-64, January.
  5. Dionne, Georges & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Pinquet, Jean, 2013. "A review of recent theoretical and empirical analyses of asymmetric information in road safety and automobile insurance," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 85-97.
  6. Ciprian Matis & Eugenia Matis, 2013. "Asymmetric Information In Insurance Field: Some General Considerations," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 1(15), pages 17.
  7. Carole Botton & Julien Fouquau, 2012. "Adjugé, Vendu...Assuré," Post-Print hal-00937902, HAL.

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