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The Economics of Credence Goods: On the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation and Competition

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  • Uwe Dulleck

    ()
    (QUT)

  • Rudolf Kerschbamer

    ()
    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()
    (University of Innsbruck and University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

Credence goods markets are characterized by asymmetric information between sellers and consumers that may give rise to inefficiencies, such as under- and overtreatment or market break-down. We study in a large experiment with 936 participants the determinants for efficiency in credence goods markets. While theory predicts that either liability or verifiability yields efficiency, we find that liability has a crucial, but verifiability only a minor effect. Allowing sellers to build up reputation has little influence, as predicted. Seller competition drives down prices and yields maximal trade, but does not lead to higher efficiency as long as liability is violated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Centre for Econometric Research in its series NCER Working Paper Series with number 42.

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Date of creation: 02 Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:qut:auncer:2009_55

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Cited by:
  1. Balafoutas, Loukas & Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "What Drives Taxi Drivers? A Field Experiment on Fraud in a Market for Credence Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 5700, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Qiu, Jianying & Sutter, Matthias, 2010. "Guilt from Promise-Breaking and Trust in Markets for Expert Services – Theory and Experiment," Working Papers in Economics 436, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias & Dulleck, Uwe, 2009. "The Impact of Distributional Preferences on (Experimental) Markets for Expert Services," IZA Discussion Papers 4647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Huck, Steffen & Zhou, Jidong, 2011. "Consumer behavioural biases in competition: A survey," MPRA Paper 31794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Uwe Dulleck & Berthold U. Wigger, 2012. "Expert Politicians, Electoral Control, and Fiscal Restraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 3738, CESifo Group Munich.

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