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The Dark Side of Competitive Pressure

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Author Info

  • Jason G. Cummins

    ()
    (Brevan Howard, Inc.)

  • Ingmar Nyman

    ()
    (City University of New York)

Abstract

When firms are better informed than their consumers---for example, in many service industries firms know more than their customers about the benefits of different alternatives---competitive pressure may inhibit efficiency because it forces firms to cater excessively to consumers' opinions. We develop this idea in a simple model of investment management in which agency problems are absent. We show that competitive pressure may prevent firms from using information that contradicts consumers' prior beliefs. In particular, the inefficiency occurs when the firms' informational advantage is small, and may, in fact, be exacerbated by making the consumer better informed. By contrast, the inefficiency shrinks with the number of firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Pages: 361-397

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:36:y:2005:2:p:361-397

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Related research

Keywords: Production and Organizations: General Market Structure and Pricing: General Asymmetric and Private Information s Competition; Information Aggregation; Incentives;

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References

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  1. Paul Heidhues & Johan Lagerlöf, 2000. "Hiding Information in Electoral Competition," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-06, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG), revised Feb 2002.
  2. Grant, Simon & King, Stephen & Polak, Ben, 1996. " Information Externalities, Share-Price Based Incentives and Managerial Behaviour," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, March.
  3. Milgrom, Paul R, 1988. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities, and Efficient Organization Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 42-60, February.
  4. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  5. Eaton, B Curtis & Lipsey, Richard G, 1975. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Reconsidered: Some New Developments in the Theory of Spatial Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 27-49, January.
  6. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 25-59, January.
  7. Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Collusion and the Theory of Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 9, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Adam Brandenburger & Ben Polak, 1996. "When Managers Cover Their Posteriors: Making the Decisions the Market Wants to See," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 523-541, Autumn.
  9. Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
  10. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  12. Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jason G. Cummins & Ingmar Nyman, 2013. "Yes Men in Tournaments," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(4), pages 621-659, December.
  2. Roland Hodler & Simon Loertscher & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Biased experts, costly lies, and binary decisions," IEW - Working Papers 496, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Alex Chu & Xingqiang Du & Guohua Jiang, 2011. "Buy, Lie, or Die: An Investigation of Chinese ST Firms’ Voluntary Interim Audit Motive and Auditor Independence," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 135-153, August.
  4. Kemal K?vanc Akoz & Cemal Eren Arbatli, 2013. "Manipulated voters in competitive election campaigns," HSE Working papers WP BRP 31/EC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  5. Mike Felgenhauer, 2012. "Revealing information in electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 55-68, October.
  6. Ingmar Nyman & Matthew Baker, 2012. "Job Hoarding," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 437, Hunter College Department of Economics.

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