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Imperfect Competition and Efficiency in Lemons Markets


  • Abhinay Muthoo
  • Suresh Mutuswami


This paper studies the impact of competition on the degree of inefficiency in lemons markets. More precisely, we characterize the second-best mechanism (i.e., the optimal mechanism with private information) in a stylized lemons market with finite numbers of buyers and sellers. We then study the relationship between the degree of efficiency of the second-best mechanism and market competitiveness. The relationship between the first-best and second-best mechanisms is also explored.
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Suggested Citation

  • Abhinay Muthoo & Suresh Mutuswami, 2011. "Imperfect Competition and Efficiency in Lemons Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 580-594, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:552:p:580-594

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean Tirole, 1996. "A Theory of Collective Reputations (with applications to the persistence of corruption and to firm quality)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-22.
    2. Gul, Faruk & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Asymptotic Efficiency in Large Exchange Economies with Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1273-1292, November.
    3. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuk Ying Chang & Martin Young, 2015. "Dissipative Competition: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 169-198, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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