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Observable Reputation Trading

  • Hendrik Hakenes
  • Martin Peitz

Is the reputation of a firm tradable when the change in ownership is observable? We consider a competitive market in which a share of owners must retire in each period. New owners bid for the firms that are for sale. Customers learn the owner's type, which reflects the quality of the good or service provided, through experience. After observing an ownership change they may want to switch firms. However, in equilibrium, good new owners buy from good old owners and retain high-value customers. Hence reputation is a tradable intangible asset, although ownership change is observable. Copyright 2007 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 48 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 693-730

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:48:y:2007:i:2:p:693-730
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  1. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, . "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Penn CARESS Working Papers a3e3219aee004bd237f8112f9, Penn Economics Department.
  2. Tirole, Jean, 1994. ""A Theory of Collective Reputations" with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality," IDEI Working Papers 38, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Alan D. Morrison & William J. Wilhelm Jr, 2004. "Partnership Firms, Reputation, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1682-1692, December.
  4. Steve Tadelis, 1997. "What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset," Working Papers 97033, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  5. Choi, Jay Pil, 1998. "Brand Extension as Informational Leverage," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 655-69, October.
  6. Klemperer, P., 1992. "Competition when Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview," Economics Series Working Papers 99142, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Rafael Rob, 2004. "Is Bigger Better? Investing in Reputation," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000086, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  9. 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 615-41, August.
  10. Cabral, L.M.B., 2000. "Stretching Firm and Brand Reputation," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 00-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
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