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Ratings, certifications and grades: dynamic signaling and market breakdown

  • Andrzej Skrzypacz

We consider the effect a public revelation of information (e.g. rating, grade) has on signaling and trading in a dynamic model. Competing buyers offer prices to a privately informed seller who can reject these offers and delay trade. This delay is costly and the seller has no commitment to the duration of the delay. We show how the external public information allows for signaling in equilibrium. More interestingly, we characterize the dynamics of trade and prices. If the signal is not fully revealing, then there is no trade just before the revelation of external information. A lemons market develops endogenously over time and prevents any trade close to the release of the public announcement. On the other hand, if the external signal is fully revealing, then trade occurs even close to the final period; however, in this case there is a discontinuity in prices.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Theory workshop papers with number 121473000000000010.

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Date of creation: 26 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclatw:121473000000000010
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  1. E. Kohlberg & J.-F. Mertens, 1998. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 445, David K. Levine.
  2. van Damme, E.E.C. & Nöldeke, G., 1990. "Signaling in a dynamic labor market," Other publications TiSEM b71cd444-f4c7-4282-bcc8-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  3. Korajczyk, Robert A & Lucas, Deborah J & McDonald, Robert L, 1991. "The Effect of Information Releases on the Pricing and Timing of Equity Issues," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(4), pages 685-708.
  4. Teoh, Siew Hong & Hwang, Chuan Yang, 1991. "Nondisclosure and Adverse Disclosure as Signals of Firm Value," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(2), pages 283-313.
  5. Nick Feltovich & Richmond Harbaugh & Ted To, 2002. "Too Cool for School? Signalling and Countersignalling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 630-649, Winter.
  6. Swinkels, Jeroen M, 1999. "Education Signalling with Preemptive Offers," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 949-70, October.
  7. Korajczyk, Robert A. & Lucas, Deborah J. & McDonald, Robert L., 1992. "Equity Issues with Time-Varying Asymmetric Information," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 397-417, September.
  8. Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "A Sorting-cum-Learning Model of Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 420-42, June.
  9. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 345-64, July.
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