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What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset

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  • Steven Tadelis

Abstract

The author develops a model in which a firm's only asset is its name, which summarizes its reputation, and studies the forces that cause names to be valuable, tradable assets. An adverse selection model in which shifts of ownership are not observable guarantees an active market for names with either finite or infinite horizons. No equilibrium exists in which only good types buy good names. The reputational dynamics that emerge from the model are more realistic than those in standard game-theoretic reputation models and suggest that adverse selection plays a crucial role in understanding firm reputation.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Tadelis, 1999. "What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 548-563, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:3:p:548-563
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.3.548
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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