Vague Lies: How to Advise Consumers When They Complain
This paper analyzes the incentives of a seller to provide (un)biased and (im)precise advice about a complex product such as insurance, banking and telecommunication services. Misleading the buyers by biasing the advice upwards increases the revenues but also the expected fine imposed by the authority. Making the advice less precise does not affect the revenues in equilibrium but interferes with the authority's inference and affects the expected fine in a non-monotonic way. In particular, making the advice less precise makes it harder to convict the seller but increases the expected fine when the seller is found guilty. We find that, in the equilibrium, biasing the advice and making it noisier are complements; in particular, a higher buyers' heterogeneity, a stricter standard of proof employed by the authority and a larger share of credulous consumers make the advice more biased and less precise.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2004.
"On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design,"
Economics Series Working Papers
185, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
- Judd, Kenneth L & Riordan, Michael H, 1994. "Price and Quality in a New Product Monopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 773-89, October.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006.
"Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2005. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 11755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Armstrong, Mark, 2008. "Interactions between competition and consumer policy," MPRA Paper 7258, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1995.
"Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1107, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ran Spiegler, 2005.
"Competition over Agents with Boundedly Rational Expectations,"
122247000000000535, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Competition over agents with boundedly rational expectations," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 207-231, June.
- Navin Kartik, 2008.
"Strategic Communication with Lying Costs,"
2008 Meeting Papers
350, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Simon P. ANDERSON & Régis RENAULT, 2008.
"Comparative Advertising: disclosing horizontal match information,"
THEMA Working Papers
2008-29, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
- Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2009. "Comparative advertising: disclosing horizontal match information," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 558-581.
- Renault, Régis & Anderson, Simon P., 2009. "Comparative advertising: disclosing horizontal match information," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12478, Paris Dauphine University.
- Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-27, May.
- Alexander Shapiro & Jos Berge, 2002. "Statistical inference of minimum rank factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 79-94, March.
- Miceli, Thomas J, 1990. "Optimal Prosecution of Defendants Whose Guilt Is Uncertain," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 189-201, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9201. 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: ()The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.