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Asymmetric information as a barrier to knowledge spillovers in expert markets

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  • Daniel Feser

    (University of Goettingen)

  • Till Proeger

    (University of Goettingen)

Abstract

This paper investigates barriers to effective knowledge spillovers for markets in which the product can be characterized as a credence good, i.e. its complexity impedes the evaluation of quality by customers both ex-ante and ex-post. We focus on the German market for energy efficiency consultants, as an emerging and subsidized sector in which the service offered has strong credence good properties. Based upon in-depth interviews with stakeholders, we analyze the determinants and barriers to knowledge spillovers. We find that the incentive to foster spillovers to increase suppliers’ knowledge is limited by the difficult commercialization of additional capabilities. The implementation of a public certification scheme has failed to increase the sectoral knowledge spillovers. By contrast, the participation in formal knowledge networks has been more effective in prompting companies to foster knowledge spillovers, which has also led to a higher degree of specialization. We conclude that access to certification schemes should be further restricted to increase market transparency and private networks should be supported to achieve the aim of increasing knowledge spillovers.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Feser & Till Proeger, 2017. "Asymmetric information as a barrier to knowledge spillovers in expert markets," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 211-232, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:intemj:v:13:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11365-016-0404-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s11365-016-0404-9
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    Cited by:

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    4. María Jesús Rodríguez-Gulías & Sara Fernández-López & David Rodeiro-Pazos & Christian Corsi & Antonio Prencipe, 2018. "The role of knowledge spillovers on the university spin-offs innovation," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(6), pages 875-883.
    5. Silveli Cristo-Andrade & João J. Ferreira, 2020. "Knowledge spillovers and strategic entrepreneurship: what researches and approaches?," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 263-286, March.
    6. Proeger, Till, 2017. "Knowledge spillovers and absorptive capacity - institutional evidence from the 'German Mittelstand'," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 320, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Proeger, Till & Runst, Petrik, 2019. "Digitization and knowledge spillover effectiveness: Evidence from the "German Mittelstand"," ifh Working Papers 20/2019, Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen (ifh).
    8. Till Proeger & Petrik Runst, 2020. "Digitization and Knowledge Spillover Effectiveness—Evidence from the “German Mittelstand”," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 11(4), pages 1509-1528, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credence goods; Knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship; Network;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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