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New, Like New, or Very Good? Reputation and Credibility

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  • Jullien, Bruno
  • Park, In-Uck

Abstract

We show that sellers may earn reputation for their \ability" to deliver high quality goods on average by honestly announcing the realised quality of items for sale every period. As the expected revenue stream from continuing with honest communication increases with their ability, high ability sellers remain honest while low ability sellers find it too costly and sometimes lie about quality for short-term gain. Thus, cheap-talk communication facilitates the market's learning of a seller's ability and strengthens reputation effects. We study this new reputation mechanism and the induced market dynamics, first when sellers cannot restart with a new identity and then when they can. We extend the analysis to various other situations such as voluntary refund and moral hazard.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 564.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision: 27 Jan 2014
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:21001

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  1. Martin W. Cripps & George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2004. "Imperfect Monitoring and Impermanent Reputations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 407-432, 03.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1989. "Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Games with a Patient Player," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 759-78, July.
  3. Dellarocas, Chrysanthos, 2003. "The Digitization of Word-of-mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Working papers 4296-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  5. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
  6. Patrick Bajari & Ali Horta�su, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
  7. Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1989. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, And Credibility," Working papers 513, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Mathis, Jérôme & McAndrews, James & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2009. "Rating the raters: Are reputation concerns powerful enough to discipline rating agencies?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 657-674, July.
  9. Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Välimäki, 2003. "Bad Reputation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 785-814, August.
  10. Mailath, George J & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 415-41, April.
  11. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  12. Heski Bar-Isaac, 2003. "Reputation and Survival: Learning in a Dynamic Signalling Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 231-251, 04.
  13. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
  14. Sobel, Joel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 557-73, October.
  15. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796, September.
  16. Luís Cabral & Ali Hortacsu, 2004. "The Dynamics of Seller Reputation: Theory and Evidence from eBay," Working Papers 04-05, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  17. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-62, August.
  18. 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.
  19. Ginger Zhe Jin & Andrew Kato, 2006. "Price, quality, and reputation: evidence from an online field experiment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 983-1005, December.
  20. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2003. "The Digitization of Word of Mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(10), pages 1407-1424, October.
  21. Andrew McLennan & In-Uck Park, 2003. "The Market for Liars: Reputation and Auditor Honesty," ISER Discussion Paper 0587, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
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Cited by:
  1. Heinrich, Timo, 2012. "Communication and reputation in procurement auctions — Some empirical evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 164-167.
  2. Bruno Jullien & In-Uck Park, 2009. "Seller Reputation and Trust in Pre-Trade Communication," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000330, David K. Levine.

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