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Overconfidence in the Market for Lemons

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  • Herweg, Fabian
  • Müller, Daniel

Abstract

We extend Akerlof ’s (1970) “Market for Lemons” by assuming that some buyers are overconfident. Buyers in our model receive a noisy signal about the quality of the good that is at display for sale. Overconfident buyers do not update according to Bayes’ rule but take the noisy signal at face value. The main finding is that the presence of overconfident buyers can stabilize the market outcome by preventing total adverse selection. This stabilization, however, comes at a cost: rational buyers are crowded out of the market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12411.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:12411

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Keywords: Adverse Selection; Market for Lemons; Overconfidence;

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  1. Francesco Squintani & Alvaro Sandroni, 2007. "Overconfidence, Insurance and Paternalism," Economics Discussion Papers 643, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Fang, Hanming & Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2005. "Morale hazard," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 749-777, May.
  3. Bond, Eric W, 1982. "A Direct Test of the "Lemons" Model: The Market for Used Pickup Trucks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 836-40, September.
  4. Charles Wilson, 1980. "The Nature of Equilibrium in Markets with Adverse Selection," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 108-130, Spring.
  5. Jonathan Levin, 2001. "Information and the Market for Lemons," Working Papers 01004, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  6. Gregory Lewis, 2011. "Asymmetric Information, Adverse Selection and Online Disclosure: The Case of eBay Motors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1535-46, June.
  7. Ellingsen, Tore, 1997. "Price signals quality: The case of perfectly inelastic demand," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 43-61, November.
  8. Michael D. Grubb, 2009. "Selling to Overconfident Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1770-1807, December.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  10. Adriani, Fabrizio & Deidda, Luca G., 2009. "Price signaling and the strategic benefits of price rigidities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 335-350, November.
  11. Genesove, David, 1993. "Adverse Selection in the Wholesale Used Car Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 644-65, August.
  12. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
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