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Names and Reputations: An Empirical Analysis

Author

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  • Ryan C. McDevitt

Abstract

This paper tests several predictions from the literature on firm reputation, and confirms a main result: poor performance leads a firm to conceal its reputation. A residential plumbing firm with a record of complaints one standard deviation above the mean is 133.2 percent more likely to change its name. In addition, firms with longer track records are less likely to change their names or exit, while firms with more firm-specific investments, such as advertising, are more likely to change their names than exit. In addition, firms in small markets value their reputations comparatively more than firms in large markets. (JEL L14, L25, L84)

Suggested Citation

  • Ryan C. McDevitt, 2011. "Names and Reputations: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 193-209, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:193-209
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.3.193
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mic.3.3.193
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Paul B. Ellickson, 2007. "Does Sutton apply to supermarkets?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59, March.
    3. Hubbard, Thomas N, 2002. "How Do Consumers Motivate Experts? Reputational Incentives in an Auto Repair Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 437-468, October.
    4. Ellickson, Paul, 2005. "Does Sutton Apply to Supermarkets?," Working Papers 05-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    5. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 415-441.
    6. Ryan C. McDevitt, 2014. ""A" Business by Any Other Name: Firm Name Choice as a Signal of Firm Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(4), pages 909-944.
    7. Waldfogel, Joel, 2008. "The median voter and the median consumer: Local private goods and population composition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 567-582, March.
    8. Steven Tadelis, 2002. "The Market for Reputations as an Incentive Mechanism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 854-882, August.
    9. Katja Seim, 2006. "An empirical model of firm entry with endogenous product‐type choices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 619-640, September.
    10. Jacques Cremer, 1986. "Cooperation in Ongoing Organizations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 33-49.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Utgård, Jakob & Nygaard, Arne & Dahlstrom, Robert, 2015. "Franchising, local market characteristics and alcohol sales to minors," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2117-2124.
    2. Alcalá, Francisco & González-Maestre, Miguel & Martínez-Pardina, Irene, 2014. "Information and quality with an increasing number of brands," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 109-117.
    3. Benson, Alan & Sojourner, Aaron J. & Umyarov, Akhmed, 2015. "Can Reputation Discipline the Gig Economy? Experimental Evidence from an Online Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 9501, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Alcalde, Pilar & Vial, Bernardita, 2016. "Willingness to Pay for Firm Reputation: Paying for Risk Rating in the Annuity Market," MPRA Paper 68993, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:eee:touman:v:56:y:2016:i:c:p:40-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:6:p:1638-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Bernardita Vial & Felipe Zurita, 2013. "Incentives and Reputation when Names can be Replaced: Valjean Reinvented as Monsieur Madeleine," Documentos de Trabajo 447, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    8. Bernardita Vial & Felipe Zurita, 2013. "Reputation-Driven Industry Dynamics," Documentos de Trabajo 436, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    9. Susan F. Lu & Gerard J. Wedig, 2013. "Clustering, Agency Costs and Operating Efficiency: Evidence from Nursing Home Chains," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(3), pages 677-694, May.
    10. Ryan C. McDevitt, 2014. ""A" Business by Any Other Name: Firm Name Choice as a Signal of Firm Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(4), pages 909-944.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services

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    1. Names and Reputations: An Empirical Analysis (AEJ:MI 2011) in ReplicationWiki

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