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Secrecy and Safety

  • Andrew Daughety

    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Jennifer Reinganum

    (Vanderbilt University)

We provide a model showing that the use of confidential settlement as a strategy for a firm facing tort litigation leads to lower average safety of products sold than would occur if the firm were committed to openness. A rational risk-neutral consumer's response in a market, wherein a firm engages in confidential settlements, may be to reduce demand. A firm committed to openness incurs higher liability and R&D costs, though product demand is not diminished. We identify conditions such that, if the cost of credible auditing (to verify openness) is low enough, a firm prefers to eschew confidentiality.

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Paper provided by American Law & Economics Association in its series American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings with number 1039.

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Handle: RePEc:bep:alecam:1039
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  1. Mark N. Hertzendorf, 1993. "I'm Not a High-Quality Firm -- But I Play One on TV," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 236-247, Summer.
  2. Laurent Linnemer, 1998. "Entry Deterrence, Product Quality: Price and Advertising as Signals," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 615-645, December.
  3. Bagwell, Kyle, 1992. "Pricing to Signal Product Line Quality," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 151-74, Spring.
  4. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Claude Fluet & Paolo G. Garella, 1999. "Advertising and Prices as Signals of Quality in a Regime of Price Rivalry," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9903, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  6. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-61, May.
  7. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1994. "Product Safety: Liability, R&D and Signaling," Game Theory and Information 9403007, EconWPA, revised 30 Mar 1994.
  8. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1999. "Hush Money," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 661-678, Winter.
  10. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  11. Yang, Bill Z., 1996. "Litigation, experimentation, and reputation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 491-502, December.
  12. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2002. "Informational Externalities in Settlement Bargaining: Confidentiality and Correlated Culpability," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 587-604, Winter.
  13. Jennifer F. Reinganum & Louise L. Wilde, 1986. "Settlement, Litigation, and the Allocation of Litigation Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 557-566, Winter.
  14. Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
  15. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-91-11 is not listed on IDEAS
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