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When is Reputation Bad?

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  • Jeffrey Ely
  • Drew Fudenberg
  • David K. Levine

Abstract

In traditional reputation theory, reputation is good for the long-run player. In “Bad Reputation,” Ely and Valimaki give an example in which reputation is unambiguously bad. This paper characterizes a more general class of games in which that insight holds, and presents some examples to illustrate when the bad reputation effect does and does not play a role. The key properties are that participation is optional for the short-run players, and that every action of the long-run player that makes the short-run players want to participate has a chance of being interpreted as a signal that the long-run player is “bad. ” We also broaden the set of commitment types, allowing many types, including the “Stackelberg type” used to prove positive results on reputation. Although reputation need not be bad if the probability of the Stackelberg type is too high, the relative probability of the Stackelberg type can be high when all commitment types are unlikely.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 2035.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2035

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References

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  1. Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Välimäki, 2003. "Bad Reputation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 785-814, August.
  2. Mailath,G.J. & Samuelson,L., 1998. "Your reputation is who you're not, not who you'd like to be," Working papers 18, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 541-68, October.
  4. D. Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1989. "Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Games with a Patient Player," Levine's Working Paper Archive 508, David K. Levine.
  5. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1980. "Predation, Reputation, and Entry Deterrence," Discussion Papers 427, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
  7. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1992. "Maintaining a Reputation When Strategies Are Imperfectly Observed," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 561-79, July.
  8. D. Fudenberg & D. M. Kreps & E. Maskin, 1998. "Repeated Games with Long-run and Short-run Players," Levine's Working Paper Archive 608, David K. Levine.
  9. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1991. "Efficiency and Obsevability with Long-Run and Short-Run Players," Working papers 591, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Marco Celentani, 1993. "Maintaining a Reputation Against A Long-Lived Opponent," Discussion Papers 1075R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  12. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2000. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," CARESS Working Papres sell-rep, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  13. Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Marco Celentani & Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Maintaining a Reputation against a Patient Opponent," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2015, David K. Levine.
  15. Sorin, Sylvain, 1999. "Merging, Reputation, and Repeated Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 274-308, October.
  16. Mailath, George J & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation? Erratum," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 714, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Takahashi, Satoru & Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 2007. "Perfect Public Equilibrium When Players Are Patient," Scholarly Articles 3196336, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Andrea Prat, 2002. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 439, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Bouvard, Matthieu & Levy, Raphael, 2013. "Two-sided reputation in certification markets," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 446, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Alexander Frankel & Michael Schwarz, 2009. "Experts and Their Records," NBER Working Papers 14921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andrea Prat, 2004. "The wrong kind of transparency," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24712, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Aperjis, Christina & Miao, Yali & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2011. "Variable Temptations and Black Market Reputations," Working Paper Series 11-020, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Dasgupta, Amil & Sarafidis, Yianis, 2009. "Managers as administrators: Reputation and incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 155-163, May.
  8. Pierre-Yves Yanni, 2012. "Coarse Information and Entrepreneurial Risk Choice," 2012 Meeting Papers 1142, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2011. "Reputation as an Entry Barrier in the Credit Rating Industry," TSE Working Papers 11-235, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised 25 May 2012.
  11. Sabine Sedlacek & Gunther Maier, 2012. "Green Building Councils: Their Economic Role as Governance Institutions," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_02, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  12. Van Gorder, Robert A. & Caputo, Michael R., 2010. "Envelope theorems for locally differentiable open-loop Stackelberg equilibria of finite horizon differential games," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1123-1139, June.
  13. Kyna Fong, 2007. "Evaluating Skilled Experts: Optimal Scoring Rules for Surgeons," Discussion Papers 07-043, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  14. Andrea Prat, 2002. "The wrong kind of transparency," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Blundell,Richard & Newey,Whitney K. & Persson,Torsten (ed.), 2006. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521692083, November.

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