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Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale

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  • Steven Shavell

Abstract

This article analyzes incentives to acquire information about the value of things before sales transactions, and voluntary versus required disclosure of such information. Two distinctions are emphasized: whether information is mere foreknowledge or instead can raise value -- has social value; and whether it is sellers or buyers who decide to acquire information. The main conclusions in the model are that voluntary disclosure results in socially excessive incentives to acquire information; mandatory disclosure is socially desirable for sellers; but for buyers, the freedom to keep silent may be needed to spur acquisition of socially desirable information.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Shavell, 1994. "Acquisition and Disclosure of Information Prior to Sale," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 20-36, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:25:y:1994:i:spring:p:20-36
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    References listed on IDEAS

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