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When Do Experts Cheat and Whom Do They Target?

Author

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  • Yuk-fai Fong

    () (Northwestern University)

Abstract

A credence good is a product or service whose usefulness or necessity is better known to the seller than to the buyer. This information asymmetry often persists even after the credence good is consumed. I propose two new theories of expert cheating, suggesting that identifiable heterogeneities among customers can cause expert sellers to defraud their customers. According to these theories, cheating arises as a substitute for price discrimination, and experts cheat selectively. For instance, experts target high-valuation and high-cost customers. Finally, selective cheating may damage the communication of useful information from customers to experts and result in inferior services.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuk-fai Fong, 2005. "When Do Experts Cheat and Whom Do They Target?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 113-130, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:36:y:2005:1:p:113-130
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    Cited by:

    1. Uwe Dulleck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Alexander Konovalov, 2014. "Too much or too little? Price-discrimination in a market for credence goods," Working Papers 2014-13, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    2. Fong, Yuk-fai & Liu, Ting & Wright, Donald J., 2014. "On the role of verifiability and commitment in credence goods markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 118-129.
    3. Ting Liu, 2011. "Credence Goods Markets With Conscientious And Selfish Experts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 227-244, February.
    4. Hyndman, Kyle & Ozerturk, Saltuk, 2011. "Consumer information in a market for expert services," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 628-640.
    5. Silvia Martínez-Gorricho, 2014. "Information and consumer fraud in a signalling model," Working Papers. Serie AD 2014-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    6. Maarten Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2011. "Sårvice Refusal in Regulated Markets for Credence Goods," HSE Working papers WP BRP 08/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    7. Uwe Dulleck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "The Economics of Credence Goods: An Experiment on the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 526-555, April.
    8. Chen, Yongmin & Li, Jianpei & Zhang, Jin, 2017. "Liability in Markets for Credence Goods," MPRA Paper 80206, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Helmut Bester & Matthias Dahm, 2014. "Credence Goods, Costly Diagnosis, and Subjective Evaluation," Discussion Papers 2014-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    10. Jennifer Brown & Dylan Minor, 2015. "Misconduct in Financial Services: Differences across Organizations," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-022, Harvard Business School.
    11. Raskovich, Alexander, 2007. "Retail buyer power through steering," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 221-225, August.
    12. Alexander Rasch & Christian Waibel, 2013. "What drives fraud in a credence goods market? Evidence from a field study," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 13/179, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    13. Calcagno, Riccardo & Giofré, Maela & Urzì-Brancati, Maria Cesira, 2017. "To trust is good, but to control is better: How investors discipline financial advisors’ activity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 287-316.
    14. Dulleck, Uwe & Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2009. "Experts vs. discounters: Consumer free-riding and experts withholding advice in markets for credence goods," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 15-23.
    15. Ouyang, Yaofu, 2016. "Credence Goods, Risk Averse, and Optimal Insurance," MPRA Paper 70392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Dominik Erharter, 2012. "Credence goods markets, distributional preferences and the role of institutions," Working Papers 2012-11, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    17. Nathaniel G. Hilger, 2016. "Why Don't People Trust Experts?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 293-311.
    18. Li, Jianpei & Ouyang, Yaofu, 2016. "Expert Costs and the Role of Verifiability," MPRA Paper 74390, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2011. "Search, Bargaining, And Agency in the Market for Legal Services," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1106, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    20. Seung Lee, 2013. "Ethics and Expertise: A Social Networks Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 607-621, December.
    21. Laurens G. Debo & L. Beril Toktay & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2008. "Queuing for Expert Services," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(8), pages 1497-1512, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric and Private Information Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge Information and Product Quality; Standardization and Compatibility Information;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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