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Consumer Networks and Firm Reputation: A First Experimental Investigation

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  • Huck, Steffen
  • Lünser, Gabriele
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

Arguing that consumers are the carriers of firms’ reputations, we examine the role of consumer networks for trust in markets that suffer from moral hazard. When consumers are embedded in a network, they can exchange information with their neighbours about their private experiences with different sellers. We find that such information exchange fosters firms' incentives for reputation building and, thus, enhances trust and efficiency in markets. This efficiency-enhancing effect is already achieved with a rather low level of network density.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6624.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6624

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Keywords: consumer network; information conditions; moral hazard; reputation; trust;

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References

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  1. Armin Falk, Michael Kosfeld, . "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," IEW - Working Papers 146, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Competition fosters trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 195-209.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
  5. Iris Bohnet & Steffen Huck, 2004. "Repetition and Reputation: Implications for Trust and Trustworthiness When Institutions Change," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-09, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  6. Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "How Effective are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Working Paper Series in Economics 3, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  7. Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
  8. Kosfeld Michael, 2004. "Economic Networks in the Laboratory: A Survey," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-23, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dulleck, Uwe & Johnston, David W. & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "The Good, the Bad and the Naive: Do Fair Prices Signal Good Types or Do They Induce Good Behaviour?," IZA Discussion Papers 6491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Qiu, Jianying & Sutter, Matthias, 2010. "Guilt from Promise-Breaking and Trust in Markets for Expert Services – Theory and Experiment," Working Papers in Economics 436, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Qiu, Jianying & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "Shaping beliefs in experimental markets for expert services: Guilt aversion and the impact of promises and money-burning options," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 145-164.
  4. Grimm, Veronika & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Matching technology and the choice of punishment institutions in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 333-348, May.
  5. Gaudeul, Alexia & Mathieu, Laurence & Peroni, Chiara, 2008. "Blogs and the Economics of Reciprocal Attention," MPRA Paper 11298, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2014. "The hidden costs of tax evasion: collaborative tax evasion in markets for expert services," Economics Working Papers ECO2014/01, European University Institute.
  7. Jeanette Brosig & Timo Heinrich, 2011. "Reputation and Mechanism Choice in Procurement Auctions – An Experiment," Ruhr Economic Papers 0254, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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