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Reputation Flows: Contractual Disputes and the Channels for Inter-firm Communication

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  • William Pyle

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    Abstract

    Inter-firm information exchange with respect to the reliability of trade partners may be unmediated in the sense that it involves direct communication between the personnel of two firms. Alternatively, this information flow may be channeled by or through an organization such as a trade association. We assess the relationship between these two mechanisms for conveying reputational information. Based on evidence from five transition countries, we find that trade associations’ role as informational intermediaries in this regard is sensitive to the geographic relationship between a potential supplier (demander) of reputational information and the firm whose behavior may be reported (acquired). What is more, the use of trade associations as conduits for reputation flows seems to be more strategic than the use of unmediated communication in that it is highly sensitive to the effects of market structure.

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    File URL: http://www.wdi.umich.edu/files/Publications/WorkingPapers/wp633.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 2003-633.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-633

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    Keywords: reputation; transition; trade associations;

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    1. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
    2. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2001. "Courts and Relational Contracts," NBER Working Papers 8572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Kali, Raja, 1999. "Endogenous Business Networks," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 615-36, October.
    7. Pyle, William, 2002. "Overbanked and Credit-Starved: A Paradox of the Transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 25-50, March.
    8. Doner Richard F. & Schneider Ben Ross, 2000. "Business Associations and Economic Development: Why Some Associations Contribute More Than Others," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-29, December.
    9. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
    10. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
    11. Woodruff, Christopher, 1998. "Contract enforcement and trade liberalization in Mexico's footwear industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 979-991, June.
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