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When is Reputation Bad

  • Jeffrey Ely
  • Drew Fudenberg
  • David K Levine

In traditional reputation theory, reputation is good for the long-run player. In "Bad Reputation," Ely and Valimaki give an example in which reputation is unambiguously bad. This paper characterizes a more general class of games in which that insight holds, and presents some examples to illustrate when the bad reputation effect does and does not play a role. The key properties are that participation is optional for the short-run players, and that every action of the long-run player that makes the short-run players want to participate has a chance of being interpreted as a signal that the long-run player is "bad. We also broaden the set of commitment types, allowing many types, including the "Stackelberg type" used to prove positive results on reputation. Although reputation need not be bad if the probability of the Stackelberg type is too high, the relative probability of the Stackelberg type can be high when all commitment types are unlikely.

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File URL: http://www.dklevine.com/papers/badrep.pdf
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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 618897000000000016.

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Date of creation: 08 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000016
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Mailath,G.J. & Samuelson,L., 1998. "Your reputation is who you're not, not who you'd like to be," Working papers 18, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 541-68, October.
  3. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M & Maskin, Eric S, 1990. "Repeated Games with Long-run and Short-run Players," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 555-73, October.
  4. Sorin, Sylvain, 1999. "Merging, Reputation, and Repeated Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 274-308, October.
  5. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  6. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2058, David K. Levine.
  7. Mailath, George J & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 415-41, April.
  8. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1991. "Efficiency and Obsevability with Long-Run and Short-Run Players," Working papers 591, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Mailath, George J & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation? Erratum," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 714, July.
  10. Marco Celentani, 1993. "Maintaining a Reputation Against A Long-Lived Opponent," Discussion Papers 1075R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1989. "Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Games with a Patient Player," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 759-78, July.
  12. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
  13. Fudenberg, D., 1991. "Maintaining a Reputation when Strategies are Imperfectly Observed," Working papers 589, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Jeffrey Ely & Jusso Valimaki, 2002. "Bad Reputation," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 391749000000000514, www.najecon.org.
    • Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Valimaki, 2002. "Bad Reputation," Discussion Papers 1348, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Marco Celentani & Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Maintaining a Reputation against a Patient Opponent," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2015, David K. Levine.
  16. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
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