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Few bad apples or plenty of lemons: which makes it harder to market plums?

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  • F. Adriani
  • LG Deidda

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Abstract

We analyse a competitive commodity market with a large number of buyers and sellers where - a. Individual qualities, either high or low, are not observable by buyers; b. Sellers strategically announce prices and buyers decide whether to buy having observed sellers' actions. We find that the set of robust equilibria includes only fully separating equilibria. In any robust equilibrium the low quality is always traded. The high quality is traded if demand is sufficiently strong, so that low quality sellers are unable to satisfy all buyers, and is never traded otherwise. Hence, few rotten apples is better than a plentiful of lemons for plums' sellers.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Adriani & LG Deidda, 2004. "Few bad apples or plenty of lemons: which makes it harder to market plums?," Working Paper CRENoS 200413, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maarten C. W. Janssen & Santanu Roy, 2002. "Dynamic Trading in a Durable Good Market with Asymmetric Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 257-282, February.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Information and Competitive Price Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 246-253, May.
    5. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Maskin, Eric, 1987. "Monopoly with asymmetric information about quality : Behavior and regulation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 483-489.
    6. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    7. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    8. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-661, May.
    9. Cho, In-Koo & Sobel, Joel, 1990. "Strategic stability and uniqueness in signaling games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 381-413, April.
    10. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. G. Marletto, 2006. "La politica dei trasporti come politica per l'innovazione: spunti da un approccio evolutivo," Working Paper CRENoS 200605, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    2. OA Carboni & G. Medda, 2007. "Government Size and the Composition of Public Spending in a Neoclassical Growth Model," Working Paper CRENoS 200701, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    market for lemons; adverse selection; d1; price-setting; off-equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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