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Advertising and Product Quality in Posted-Offer Experiments


  • Holt, Charles A
  • Sherman, Roger


Sellers select both price and quality, but buyers have limited information about those choices in the experiments reported here. Market efficiency is high under full information with truthful advertising of prices and qualities, but is much lower with no advertising of price or quality. Efficiency does not improve when sellers were permitted to advertise price, but not quality, and in half of these experiments "lemons" outcomes occur. Although the range of outcomes is great, it cannot be claimed that price advertising improves efficiency when quality is unknown. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Holt, Charles A & Sherman, Roger, 1990. "Advertising and Product Quality in Posted-Offer Experiments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 39-56, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:28:y:1990:i:1:p:39-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
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    1. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00736551 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Antonio Cabrales & Gary Charness & Marie Villeval, 2011. "Hidden information, bargaining power, and efficiency: an experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(2), pages 133-159, May.
    3. Steffen Huck & Gabriele K. Lünser & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2016. "Price competition and reputation in markets for experience goods: an experimental study," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(1), pages 99-117, February.
    4. Cabrales, Antonio & Charness, Gary & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2006. "Competition, hidden information, and efficiency : an experiment," UC3M Working papers. Economics we071909, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    5. John A. List, 2006. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-37, February.
    6. Fabrice Etilé & Sabrina Teyssier, 2012. "Signaling Corporate Social Responsibility: Third-Party Certification vs. Brands," PSE Working Papers halshs-00736551, HAL.
    7. Gaynor, Martin, 1994. "Issues in the Industrial Organization of the Market for Physician Services," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 211-255, Spring.
    8. Giorgio Coricelli & Luigi Luini, 1999. "Double Moral Hazard: an Experiment on Warranties," CEEL Working Papers 9901, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    9. Bart Wilson & Arthur Zillante, 2010. "More Information, More Ripoffs: Experiments with Public and Private Information in Markets with Asymmetric Information," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 36(1), pages 1-16, February.
    10. Capra, C. Monica & Goeree, Jacob K. & Gomez, Rosario & Holt, Charles A., 2000. "Predation, asymmetric information and strategic behavior in the classroom: an experimental approach to the teaching of industrial organization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 205-225, January.
    11. Fabrice Etilé & Sabrina Teyssier, 2012. "Signaling Corporate Social Responsibility: Third-Party Certification vs. Brands," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00736551, HAL.
    12. Burfurd, Ingrid & Gangadharan, Lata & Nemes, Veronika, 2012. "Stars and standards: Energy efficiency in rental markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 153-168.

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