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The Impact of Distributional Preferences on (Experimental) Markets for Expert Services

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  • Rudolf Kerschbamer

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

  • Uwe Dulleck

    ()

Abstract

Credence goods markets suffer from inefficiencies arising from informational asymmetries between expert sellers and customers. While standard theory predicts that inefficiencies disappear if customers can verify the quality received, verifiability fails to yield efficiency in experiments with endogenous prices. We identify heterogeneous distributional preferences as the main cause and design a parsimonious experiment with exogenous prices that allows classifying experts as either selfish, efficiency loving, inequality averse, inequality loving or competitive. Results show that most subjects exhibit non-standard distributional preferences, among which efficiency-loving and inequality aversion are most frequent. We discuss implications for institutional design and agent selection in credence goods markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2009-28.

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Length: 56
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2009-28

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Keywords: Distributional Preferences; Credence Goods; Verifiability; Experiment;

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References

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  1. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  7. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
  8. Winand Emons, 1994. "Credence Goods and Fraudulent Experts," Diskussionsschriften dp9402, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
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  10. Dulleck, Uwe & Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2003. "Price Discrimination in Markets for Experts' Services," CEPR Discussion Papers 4155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jonathan Gruber & Maria Owings, 1994. "Physician Financial Incentives and Cesarean Section Delivery," NBER Working Papers 4933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Asher Wolinsky, 2000. "Second Opinions and Price Competition: Inefficiency in the Market for Expert Advice," Discussion Papers 1306, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Dulleck, Uwe & Rudolf, Kerschbamer & Matthias, Sutter, 2009. "The Economics of Credence Goods: On the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation and Competition," Working Papers in Economics 348, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  15. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  17. Dulleck, Uwe & Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2005. "Experts vs Discounters: Competition and Market Unravelling When Consumers Do Not Know What they Need," CEPR Discussion Papers 5242, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "What drives taxi drivers? A field experiment on fraud in a market for credence goods," Working Papers 2011-11, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Uwe Dulleck & David Johnston & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "The Good, the Bad and the Naive: Do fair prices signal good types or do they induce good behaviour?," NCER Working Paper Series 81, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  3. Dominik Erharter, 2012. "Credence goods markets, distributional preferences and the role of institutions," Working Papers 2012-11, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

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