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Analysis Of The Signaling Hypothesis In Higher Education Marketing Via Classroom Experiment


  • KISS Marietta

    (University of Debrecen Faculty of Economics and Business Administration,)

  • KUN Andras Istvan

    (University of Debrecen Faculty of Economics and Business Administration,)


In the international literature of information asymmetry research on the field of marketing has been published since the 1970s. Several authors revealed the signal function of the quantity and specificity of the information in the marketing communication activities mainly in case of experience goods, i.e. sellers of better quality products and services communicate a higher quantity of and more specific pieces of information voluntarily because this causes less risk for them than for their weaker competitors. If this practice is well-known by the customers and for this reason they trust in the products and services about which they possess more and/or more accurate pieces of information, then this business behaviour pays off for the firm with higher quality products in the higher prices and repurchases and becomes permanent. On the other hand, for the firms with lower quality products the behaviour of publishing no, less or less specific pieces of information becomes the norm. This paper examines this phenomenon in the market of higher education institutions. Our research questions therefore are the following: How does the quantity and quality of the information published by the higher education institutions affect customers' evaluation on them? Is there any difference in this effect according to how much the published information is connected to the usual educational quality measures? To answer these questions we used quantitative classroom experiment method with 101 higher education students. The results of this experiment confirmed our hypotheses that the better universities and colleges gain competitive advantage by publishing more and highly specific information about themselves. Especially the information that is related strongly to the academic quality measures is important. In contrast, more informative behaviour contributes to the competitive disadvantage for the lower quality institutions. Our findings aim to contribute to the better understanding of the informational behaviour of higher education institutions. These results can also be useful for those responsible for the marketing communication of such organisations and for those who base their decisions on this communication.

Suggested Citation

  • KISS Marietta & KUN Andras Istvan, 2014. "Analysis Of The Signaling Hypothesis In Higher Education Marketing Via Classroom Experiment," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 1005-1012, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ora:journl:v:1:y:2014:i:1:p:1005-1012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
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    More about this item


    signaling; information asymmetry; higher education marketing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising


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