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Bad reputation with simple rating systems


  • Lorecchio, Caio
  • Monte, Daniel


We consider information censoring through finite memory as a device against bad reputational concerns. Our class of constrained information policies resembles common practices in online reputation systems, on which customers increasingly rely whenever hiring experts. In a world of repeated interactions between a long-lived expert and short-lived customers, Ely and Välimäki (2003) show that unlimited record-keeping may induce the expert to overchoose a certain action, seeking reputational gains. Consequently, welfare may reduce and markets may break down. We show that simple rating systems in such world help overcome market failures and improve upon both the full-memory and the no-memory cases.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorecchio, Caio & Monte, Daniel, 2023. "Bad reputation with simple rating systems," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 150-178.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:142:y:2023:i:c:p:150-178
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2023.07.019

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    More about this item


    Bad reputation; Rating systems; Bounded rationality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • M3 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising


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