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When is reputation bad?

  • Ely, Jeffrey
  • Fudenberg, Drew
  • Levine, David K.

In traditional reputation models, the ability to build a reputation is good for the long-run player. In [Ely, J., Valimaki, J., 2003. Bad reputation. NAJ Econ. 4, 2; http://www.najecon.org/v4.htm. Quart. J. Econ. 118 (2003) 785-814], Ely and Valimaki give an example in which reputation is unambiguously bad. This paper characterizes a class of games in which that insight holds. The key to bad reputation is that participation is optional for the short-run players, and that every action of the long-run player that makes the short-run players want to participate has a chance of being interpreted as a signal that the long-run player is "bad." We allow a broad set of commitment types, allowing many types, including the "Stackelberg type" used to prove positive results on reputation. Although reputation need not be bad if the probability of the Stackelberg type is too high, the relative probability of the Stackelberg type can be high when all commitment types are unlikely.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 498-526

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:498-526
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, . ""Who Wants a Good Reputation?''," CARESS Working Papres 98-12, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  2. Fudenberg Drew & Levine David K., 1994. "Efficiency and Observability with Long-Run and Short-Run Players," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 103-135, February.
  3. Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
  5. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  6. Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Valimaki, 2002. "Bad Reputation," Discussion Papers 1348, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Maskin, Eric & Kreps, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1990. "Repeated Games with Long-run and Short-run Players," Scholarly Articles 3226950, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Sorin, Sylvain, 1999. "Merging, Reputation, and Repeated Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 274-308, October.
  9. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  10. Fudenberg, D., 1991. "Maintaining a Reputation when Strategies are Imperfectly Observed," Working papers 589, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1989. "Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Games with a Patient Player," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 759-78, July.
  12. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 541-68, October.
  13. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, . "Your Reputation Is Who You're Not, Not Who You'd Like To Be," Penn CARESS Working Papers bb1b279d6539c9ed3b83a027c, Penn Economics Department.
  14. Marco Celentani, 1993. "Maintaining a Reputation Against A Long-Lived Opponent," Discussion Papers 1075R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Mailath, George J & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation? Erratum," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 714, July.
  16. Marco Celentani & Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2006. "Maintaining A Reputation Against A Patient Opponent," Levine's Working Paper Archive 699152000000000019, David K. Levine.
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