Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets
AbstractSurvey evidence suggests that consumers care about the environment and are willing to pay a higher price for a product that generates less environmental harm. We induce buyer preferences over quality in a laboratory posted offer market to study sellers' incentives to offer products of differing quality. Buyers are unaware of the product quality before purchase, as is the case for experience goods. We first document the market failure that arises from incomplete information when no signaling or reputations are possible. We then study various treatments that could remedy this failure. Seller reputations and unverified "cheap talk" signals sometimes increase the number of higher-valued 'clean' goods. The only reliable way to improve product quality in the experiment, however, is to use an external body that charges a fee to verify product quality claims.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 708.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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MORAL HAZARD ; EXPERIMENTS ; ENVIRONMENT;
Other versions of this item:
- Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2002. "Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-134, January.
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
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