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A Marketing Scheme for Making Money off Innocent People: A User’s Manual

  • Kaushik Basu


Firms often give away free goods with the product that they sell. Firms often give stock options to their top management and other employees. Mixing these two practices—giving stock options to consumers who buy the firm’s product—, creates a deadly brew. Large numbers of consumers can be lured into buying this product, giving the entrepreneur huge profits and the consumers a growing profit share. But this is a camouflaged Ponzi that will ultimately crash. By analogy it is argued that the common practice of giving stock options to employees can be a factor behind financial crashes. The aim of the paper is to help create a better regulatory structure.

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2341.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2341
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  1. Shell, Karl, 1971. "Notes on the Economics of Infinity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 1002-11, Sept.-Oct.
  2. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with Inter-generational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Working Papers 03-03, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  3. Dilip Abreu & Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2003. "Bubbles and Crashes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 173-204, January.
  4. Ariel Rubinstein & Ran Spiegler, 2008. "Money Pumps in the Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 237-253, 03.
  5. Tirole, Jean, 1982. "On the Possibility of Speculation under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1163-81, September.
  6. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1979. "Equilibrium in supergames with the overtaking criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-9, August.
  7. Brock, William A, 1970. "An Axiomatic Basis for the Ramsey- Weizsacker Overtaking Criterion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(6), pages 927-29, November.
  8. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Utilitarianism for Infinite Utility Streams: A New Welfare Criterion and Its Axiomatic Characterization," Working Papers 03-05, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
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