Warranties as Signals Under Consumer Moral Hazard
AbstractIn this paper, I examine whether and how warranties serve as signals of product quality in an environment where there are opportunities for consumer moral hazard. My model is very similar to Grossman's. A risk neutral monopolist produced a good of fixed and exogenous quality. This product is offered to a market of identical risk-averse consumers, and it can be bundled with a warranty of the monopolist's choosing. The probability that the product breaks down is a function of its quality and the effort the consumer takes in using it. This consumer effort cannot be observed by the monopolist or any third party, so that the warranty cannot be made conditional on the effort taken, and in choosing the warranty the monopolist must take the moral hazard problem into account.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 867.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 1988
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Rand Journal of Economics (Summer 1989), 20(2): 240-255
Note: CFP 739.
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
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