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Pricing and Trust

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Author Info

  • Steffen Huck

    (University College London)

  • Gabriele K. Ruchala

    (University College London)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We experimentally examine the effects of flexible and fixed prices in markets for experience goods in which demand is driven by trust. With flexible prices, we observe low prices and high quality in competitive (oligopolistic) markets, and high prices coupled with low quality in non-competitive (monopolistic) markets. We then introduce a regulated intermediate price above the oligopoly price and below the monopoly price. The effect in monopolies is more or less in line with standard intuition. As price falls volume increases and so does quality, such that overall efficiency is raised by 50%. However, quite in contrast to standard intuition, we also observe an efficiency rise in response to regulation in oligopolies. Both, transaction volume and traded quality are, in fact, maximal in regulated oligopolies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 07-04.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0704

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Related research

Keywords: markets; price competition; price regulation; reputation; trust; moral hazard; experience goods;

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References

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  1. Iris Bohnet & Bruno S. Frey & Steffen Huck, . "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," IEW - Working Papers 052, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Claudia Keser, 2002. "Trust and Reputation Building in E-Commerce," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-75, CIRANO.
  3. Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
  4. Iris Bohnet & Steffen Huck, 2004. "Repetition and Reputation: Implications for Trust and Trustworthiness When Institutions Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 362-366, May.
  5. Martin Dufwenberg & Uri Gneezy & Jacob Goeree & Rosemarie Nagel, 2007. "Price floors and competition," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 211-224, October.
  6. Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Competition fosters trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 195-209.
  7. Coursey, Don L & Smith, Vernon L, 1983. "Price Controls in a Posted Offer Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 218-21, March.
  8. Smith, Vernon L & Williams, Arlington W, 1981. "On Nonbinding Price Controls in a Competitive Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 467-74, June.
  9. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
  10. Seale, James L., Jr. & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence On Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 33580, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  11. Isaac, R. Mark & Plott, Charles R., . "Price Controls and the Behavior of Auction Markets: An Experimental Examination," Working Papers 253, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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Cited by:
  1. Dulleck, Uwe & Johnston, David W. & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "The Good, the Bad and the Naive: Do Fair Prices Signal Good Types or Do They Induce Good Behaviour?," IZA Discussion Papers 6491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter & Uwe Dulleck, 2009. "The Impact of Distributional Preferences on (Experimental) Markets for Expert Services," Working Papers 2009-28, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  3. Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker & Radovan Vadovič, 2011. "Building Trust—One Gift at a Time," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 412-433, September.
  4. Steffen Huck & Gabriele K. Ruchala & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2006. "Competition Fosters Trust," Discussion Papers 06-22, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Qiu, Jianying & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "Shaping beliefs in experimental markets for expert services: Guilt aversion and the impact of promises and money-burning options," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 145-164.
  6. Uwe Dulleck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "The Economics of Credence Goods: On the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation and Competition," Working Papers 2009-03, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  7. Loukas Balafoutas & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2013. "Second-Degree Moral Hazard in a Real-World Credence Goods Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 4458, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker & Radovan Vadovič, 2011. "Words Speak Louder Than Money," Working Papers in Economics 11/13, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  9. Adriani, Fabrizio & Deidda, Luca, 2008. "Competition and the signaling role of prices," MPRA Paper 16108, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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