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Honest certification and the threat of capture

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  • Strausz, Roland

Abstract

This paper derives conditions under which reputation enables certifiers to resist capture. These conditions alone have strong implications for the industrial organization of certification markets: 1) Honest certification requires high prices that may even exceed the static monopoly price. 2) Honest certification exhibits economies of scale and constitutes a natural monopoly. 3) Price competition tends to a monopolization. The results derive from a general principle of reputation models that favors concentration. This principle implies benefits from specialization and explains specialized certifiers as efficient market institutions that sell reputation as a service to other firms.
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Suggested Citation

  • Strausz, Roland, 2005. "Honest certification and the threat of capture," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 45-62, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:23:y:2005:i:1-2:p:45-62
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1089-1127.
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    3. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1993. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 629-656, May.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine & Eric Maskin, 2008. "The Folk Theorem With Imperfect Public Information," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 12, pages 231-273 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    6. Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-239, March.
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    10. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
    11. Albano, Gian Luigi & Lizzeri, Alessandro, 2001. "Strategic Certification and Provision of Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 267-283, February.
    12. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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