IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Market for Quacks

  • Rani Spiegler

A group of n "quacks" plays a price-competition game, facing a continuum of "patients" who recover with probability α, whether they acquire a quack's "treatment". If patients chose rationally, the market would be inactive. I assume, however, that patients choose according to a boundedly rational procedure, which reflects "anecdotal" reasoning. This element of bounded rationality has significant implications. The market for quacks is active, and patients suffer a welfare loss which behaves non-monotonically w.r.t. n and α. In an extended model that endogenizes the quacks' choice of "treatments", the quacks minimize the force of price competition by offering maximally differentiated treatments. The patients' welfare loss is robust to market interventions, which would crowd out low-quality firms in standard models. Thus, as long as the patients' quality of reasoning is not lifted above the anecdotal level, ordinary competition policies may be ineffective. Copyright 2006, Wiley-Blackwell.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.tau.ac.il/~rani/quacks.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000634.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 31 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000634
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  2. Philippe Jeniel, 2001. "Analogy-Based Expectation Equilibrium," Economics Working Papers 0003, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  3. Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Inference By Believers In The Law Of Small Numbers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 775-816, August.
  4. Eyster, Erik & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Cursed Equilibrium," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7p2911dn, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Salop, Steven C, 1986. "Firm-Specific Information, Product Differentiation, and Industry Equilibrium," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 184-202, Suppl. No.
  6. Ran Spiegler, 2002. "Testing Threats in Repeated Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391749000000000445, David K. Levine.
  7. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1993. "On Price Recognition and Computational Complexity in a Monopolistic Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 473-84, June.
  8. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  9. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  10. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Osborne, Martin J. & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2003. "Sampling equilibrium, with an application to strategic voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 434-441, November.
  12. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Hongyi Li, 2005. "Extreme Value Theory and the Effects of Competition on Profits," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000656, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Osborne, Martin J & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1998. "Games with Procedurally Rational Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 834-47, September.
  14. Michele Piccione & Ariel Rubinstein, 2002. "Modelling the economic interaction of agents with diverse abilities to recognise equilibrium patterns," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2061, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
  16. Simon, Leo K, 1987. "Games with Discontinuous Payoffs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 569-97, October.
  17. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  18. Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1995. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 93-125, February.
  20. von Thadden, Ernst-Ludwig, 1992. "Optimal pricing against a simple learning rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 627-649, October.
  21. Rob, Rafael, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504, July.
  22. Michael J. Fishman & Kathleen M. Hagerty, 2003. "Mandatory Versus Voluntary Disclosure in Markets with Informed and Uninformed Customers," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 45-63, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000634. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David K. Levine)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.