AbstractIn many bilateral transactions, the seller fears being underpaid because its outside option is better known to the buyer. We rationalize a variety of observed contracts as solutions to such smart buyer problems. The key to these solutions is to grant the seller upside participation. In contrast, the lemons problem calls for offering the buyer downside protection. Yet in either case, the seller (buyer) receives a convex (concave) claim. Thus, contracts commonly associated with the lemons problem can equally well be manifestations of the smart buyer problem. Nevertheless, the information asymmetries have opposite cross-sectional implications. To avoid underestimating the empirical relevance of adverse selection problems, it is therefore critical to properly identify the underlying information asymmetries in the data.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8774.
Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2012-03-28 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-MIC-2012-03-28 (Microeconomics)
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