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Trusting Labels: A Matter of Numbers?

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  • Thomas Liebi
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    Abstract

    Labelling is an increasingly popular way to deal with the problem of non-observability of quality inherent in the consumption of credence goods. I present a model in which the number of labelled products a monopolist offers serves as a signal for the non-observable endogenous quality. An increase in the number of labelled products increases the risk of losing consumer trust by increasing the possibility of detecting wrong labels. This lowers the incentive to produce low quality in the first place.

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    File URL: http://www.vwl.unibe.ch/papers/dp/dp0201.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0201.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0201

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    Keywords: credence goods; labels; product quality; consumer trust;

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    1. Choi, Jay Pil, 1998. "Brand Extension as Informational Leverage," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 655-69, October.
    2. Winand Emons, 1995. "Credence Goods Monopolists," Diskussionsschriften dp9501, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    3. Sullivan, Mary, 1990. "Measuring Image Spillovers in Umbrella-Branded Products," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(3), pages 309-29, July.
    4. Carl Shapiro, 1982. "Consumer Information, Product Quality, and Seller Reputation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 20-35, Spring.
    5. Golan, Elise H. & Kuchler, Fred & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2000. "Economics Of Food Labeling," Agricultural Economics Reports 34069, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. Winand Emons, 1997. "Credence Goods and Fraudelent Experts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 107-119, Spring.
    7. Dulleck, Uwe & Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2001. "On Doctors, Mechanics and Computer Specialists. Or Where are the Problems with Credence Goods?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Luis M.B. Cabral, 2000. "Stretching Firm and Brand Reputation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 658-673, Winter.
    9. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Thomas Liebi, 2002. "Monitoring Eco-Labels: You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing," Diskussionsschriften dp0207, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

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