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Pricing and Trust

Author

Listed:
  • Huck, Steffen
  • Ruchala, Gabriele K.
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

We experimentally examine the effects of flexible and fixed prices in markets for experience goods in which demand is driven by trust. With flexible prices, we observe low prices and high quality in competitive (oligopolistic) markets, and high prices coupled with low quality in non-competitive (monopolistic) markets. We then introduce a regulated intermediate price above the oligopoly price and below the monopoly price. The effect in monopolies is more or less in line with standard intuition. As price falls volume increases and so does quality, such that overall efficiency is raised by 50%. However, quite in contrast to standard intuition, we also observe an efficiency rise in response to regulation in oligopolies. Both, transaction volume and traded quality are, in fact, maximal in regulated oligopolies.

Suggested Citation

  • Huck, Steffen & Ruchala, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2007. "Pricing and Trust," CEPR Discussion Papers 6135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6135
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Dufwenberg & Uri Gneezy & Jacob Goeree & Rosemarie Nagel, 2007. "Price floors and competition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 211-224, October.
    2. Seale, James & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 184321, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
    4. Iris Bohnet & Steffen Huck, 2004. "Repetition and Reputation: Implications for Trust and Trustworthiness When Institutions Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 362-366, May.
    5. Isaac, R Mark & Plott, Charles R, 1981. "Price Controls and the Behavior of Auction Markets: An Experimental Examination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 448-459, June.
    6. Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Competition fosters trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 195-209.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:95:y:2001:i:01:p:131-144_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Smith, Vernon L & Williams, Arlington W, 1981. "On Nonbinding Price Controls in a Competitive Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 467-474, June.
    9. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S. & Huck, Steffen, 2001. "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(01), pages 131-144, March.
    10. Claudia Keser, 2002. "Trust and Reputation Building in E-Commerce," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-75, CIRANO.
    11. Coursey, Don L & Smith, Vernon L, 1983. "Price Controls in a Posted Offer Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 218-221, March.
    12. Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adriani, Fabrizio & Deidda, Luca G., 2011. "Competition and the signaling role of prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 412-425, July.
    2. Servátka, Maroš & Tucker, Steven & Vadovič, Radovan, 2011. "Words speak louder than money," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 700-709.
    3. Dulleck, Uwe & Johnston, David W. & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "The Good, the Bad and the Naive: Do Fair Prices Signal Good Types or Do They Induce Good Behaviour?," IZA Discussion Papers 6491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Dulleck, Uwe & Rudolf, Kerschbamer & Matthias, Sutter, 2009. "The Economics of Credence Goods: On the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation and Competition," Working Papers in Economics 348, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Competition fosters trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 195-209.
    6. Loukas Balafoutas & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2017. "Second‐Degree Moral Hazard In A Real‐World Credence Goods Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 1-18, February.
    7. Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter & Uwe Dulleck, 2009. "The Impact of Distributional Preferences on (Experimental) Markets for Expert Services," Working Papers 2009-28, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    8. Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker & Radovan Vadovič, 2011. "Building Trust—One Gift at a Time," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-22, September.
    9. Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Qiu, Jianying & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "Shaping beliefs in experimental markets for expert services: Guilt aversion and the impact of promises and money-burning options," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 145-164.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experience goods; markets; moral hazard; price competition; reputation; Trust;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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