Mandatory versus Voluntary Disclosure of Product Risks
AbstractWe analyze a model in which firms are able to acquire information about product risks and may or may not be required to disclose this information. We initially study the effect of disclosure rules assuming that firms are not liable for the harm caused by their products. Although mandatory disclosure obviously is superior to voluntary disclosure given the information about product risks that firms possess —since such information has value to consumers — voluntary disclosure induces firms to acquire more information about product risks because they can keep silent if the information is unfavorable. The latter effect could lead to higher social welfare under voluntary disclosure. The same results hold if firms are liable for harm under the negligence standard of liability. Under strict liability, however, firms are indifferent about revealing information concerning product risk, and mandatory and voluntary disclosure rules are equivalent.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 06-006.
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
product risk; information; mandatory disclosure; voluntary disclosure; negligence; strict liability;
Other versions of this item:
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 2006. "Mandatory Versus Voluntary Disclosure of Product Risks," NBER Working Papers 12776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
- K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Steven Shavell, 2003.
"Economic Analysis of Accident Law,"
NBER Working Papers
9483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum & Andrew F. Daughety, 2004.
"Secrecy and Safety,"
Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings
53, Econometric Society.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2003. "Secrecy and Safety," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0317, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Sep 2003.
- Andrew Daughety & Jennifer Reinganum, . "Secrecy and Safety," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1039, American Law & Economics Association.
- Joseph Farrell, 1985. "Voluntary Disclosure: Robustness of the Unraveling Result, and Comments on Its Importance," Working papers 374, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Steven Matthews & Andrew Postlewaite, 1985. "Quality Testing and Disclosure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 328-340, Autumn.
- Steven Shavell, 1994. "Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 20-36, Spring.
- Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 2005.
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/9543, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Mathios, Alan D, 2000. "The Impact of Mandatory Disclosure Laws on Product Choices: An Analysis of the Salad Dressing Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 651-77, October.
- Paul R. Milgrom, 1979.
"Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications,"
407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2006.
"Products Liability, Signaling and Disclosure,"
Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers
0625, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008. "Products Liability, Signaling and Disclosure," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(1), pages 106-126, March.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008.
"Communicating quality: a unified model of disclosure and signalling,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 973-989.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2007. "Communicating Quality: A Unified Model of Disclosure and Signaling," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0703, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
- Iwata, Hiroki, 2014. "Disclosure of environmental information and investments of firms," MPRA Paper 54784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Shor).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.