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What drives fraud in a credence goods market? Evidence from a field study

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Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of four key economic variables on an expert firm’s incentive to defraud its customers in a credence goods market: the level of competition, the expert firm’s financial situation, its competence, and its reputational concerns. We use and complement the dataset of a nationwide field study conducted by the German Automobile Association that regularly checks the reliability of garages in Germany. We find that more intense competition and high competence lower firms’ incentive to overcharge. A low concern for reputation and a critical financial situation increase the incentive to overcharge.

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File URL: http://www.cer.ethz.ch/research/WP-13-179.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 13/179.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:13-179

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Related research

Keywords: Asymmetric information; Auto repair market; Credence goods; Expert; Fraud; Overcharging.;

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  1. Balafoutas, Loukas & Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "What Drives Taxi Drivers? A Field Experiment on Fraud in a Market for Credence Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 5700, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kai Sülzle & Achim Wambach, 2002. "Insurance in a Market for Credence Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 677, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. In-Uck Park, 2005. "Cheap-Talk Referrals of Differentiated Experts in Repeated Relationships," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 391-411, Summer.
  4. Jan Boone, 2008. "A New Way to Measure Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1245-1261, 08.
  5. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "The Economics of Breakdowns, Checkups, and Cures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 53-74, February.
  6. Uwe Dulleck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "The Economics of Credence Goods: An Experiment on the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 526-55, April.
  7. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2009. "Reputational Incentives for Restaurant Hygiene," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 237-67, February.
  8. Henry S. Schneider, 2012. "Agency Problems and Reputation in Expert Services: Evidence from Auto Repair," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 406-433, 09.
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