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Adverse selection and moral hazard in anonymous markets

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  • Klein, Tobias J.
  • Lambertz, Christian
  • Stahl, Konrad O.

Abstract

We study the effects of improvements in eBay's rating mechanism on seller exit and continuing sellers' behavior. Following a large sample of sellers over time, we exploit the fact that the rating mechanism was changed to reduce strategic bias in buyer rating. That improvement did not lead to increased exit of poorly rated sellers. Yet, buyer valuation of the staying sellers-especially the poorly rated ones-improved significantly. By our preferred interpretation, the latter effect results from increased seller effort; also, when sellers have the choice between exiting (a reduction in adverse selection) and improved behavior (a reduction in moral hazard), then they prefer the latter because of lower cost. -- Anonyme Märkte wie solche, die im Internet tagtäglich geöffnet werden, sind gekennzeichnet durch asymmetrische Information zwischen den Marktteilnehmern. Tatsächlich weiß die Käuferin vor dem Tauschakt nicht, ob der Verkäufer das Gut korrekt beschrieben hat, und ob er nach ihrer Kaufentscheidung die Transaktion gewissenhaft durchführt. Ohne Abhilfe lösen diese Informationsasymmetrien Adverse Selektion und Moralisches Risiko aus: Adverse Selektion entsteht dadurch, dass gewissenhafte Verkäufer den Markt verlassen (oder erst gar nicht in ihn eintreten), solange ihre Gewissenhaftigkeit durch die Käufer mangels korrekter ex ante Information nicht honoriert wird. Moralisches Risiko entsteht dadurch, dass aus dem gleichen Grund die im Markt verbleibenden Verkäufer ihre Anstrengungen gering halten. Die Konsequenzen von Adverser Selektion und Moralischem Risiko sind inzwischen theoretisch sorgfältig analysiert und gut verstanden. Jedoch gibt es bisher wenige empirische Tests zu den aus der Theorie abgeleiteten Hypothesen. Internetmärkte bieten dafür eine nützliche Umgebung. Aufgrund der offensichtlichen Konsequenzen entwickelten die Designer von Internet-Märkten schon aus Eigeninteresse frühzeitig Instrumente zur Abwehr der adversen Effekte; vor allem in Form von Reputationsmechanismen, unter denen Käufer und Verkäufer ihre Performanz gegenseitig bewerten und daraus Reputationskapital entwickeln können. Diese Mechanismen wurden im Laufe der Zeit verbessert, in Reaktion auf opportunistisches Berichtsverhalten auf beiden Marktseiten.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-050.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13050

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Keywords: Anonymous markets; adverse selection; moral hazard; reputation building mechanisms;

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  1. Jeffrey A. Livingston, 2005. "How Valuable Is a Good Reputation? A Sample Selection Model of Internet Auctions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 453-465, August.
  2. Patrick Bajari & Han Hong & Ahmed Khwaja, 2006. "Moral Hazard, Adverse Selection and Health Expenditures: A Semiparametric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 12445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Hanming Fang & Michael P. Keane & Dan Silverman, 2006. "Sources of Advantageous Selection: Evidence from the Medigap Insurance Market," NBER Working Papers 12289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Aviva Aron-Dine & Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Mark R. Cullen, 2012. "Moral Hazard in Health Insurance: How Important Is Forward Looking Behavior?," NBER Working Papers 17802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2004. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 183-208, February.
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  8. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Stephen Ryan & Paul Schrimpf & Mark Cullen, 2011. "Selection on Moral Hazard in Health Insurance," Discussion Papers 10-027, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Jaap H. Abbring & Pierre-André Chiappori & Jean Pinquet, 2003. "Moral Hazard and Dynamic Insurance Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 767-820, 06.
  10. Klein, Tobias J. & Lambertz, Christian & Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Stahl, Konrad O., 2006. "Last Minute Feedback," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 62, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  11. Chrysanthos Dellarocas & Charles A. Wood, 2008. "The Sound of Silence in Online Feedback: Estimating Trading Risks in the Presence of Reporting Bias," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(3), pages 460-476, March.
  12. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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  15. Klein, T.J. & Lambertz, C. & Spagnalo, G. & Stahl, K.O., 2009. "The actual structure of eBay’s feedback mechanism and early evidence on the effect of recent changes," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3448701, Tilburg University.
  16. Resnick, Paul & Zeckhauser, Richard & Swanson, John & Lockwood, Kate, 2003. "The Value of Reputation on eBay: A Controlled Experiment," Working Paper Series rwp03-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  17. Aviva Aron-Dine & Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Mark Cullen, 2012. "Moral hazard in health insurance: How important is forward looking behavior?," Discussion Papers 11-007, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  18. Jaap H. Abbring & James J. Heckman & Pierre-André Chiappori & Jean Pinquet, 2003. "Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard In Insurance: Can Dynamic Data Help to Distinguish?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 512-521, 04/05.
  19. Melnik, Mikhail I & Alm, James, 2002. "Does a Seller's Ecommerce Reputation Matter? Evidence from eBay Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 337-49, September.
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