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Product-Use Information and the Limits of Voluntary Disclosure


  • Oren Bar-Gill
  • Oliver Board


Concern about asymmetric information in markets for consumer goods and services has focused on product-attribute information. We highlight the importance of another category of information--product-use information. In important markets, sellers have better information about how a consumer will use their product or service than the consumer herself. Moreover, we show that the classic unraveling results do not extend to product-use information, and thus sellers are less likely to voluntarily disclose this type of information. Our findings have important policy implications: While most disclosure mandates target product-attribute information, our analysis suggests that mandating disclosure of product-use information may be more important. Indeed, policy makers are beginning to recognize the importance of product-use disclosures. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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  • Oren Bar-Gill & Oliver Board, 2012. "Product-Use Information and the Limits of Voluntary Disclosure," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 235-270.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:14:y:2012:i:1:p:235-270

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 487-504.
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    1. Amit Poddar & Cameron Ellis & Timucin Ozcan, 2015. "Imperfect Recall: The Impact of Composite Spending Information Disclosure on Credit Card Spending," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 93-104, March.

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