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That's news to me! information revelation in professional certification markets

  • Andrew Kato
  • Ginger Jin
  • John List

Using sportscard grading as an example, we employ field experiments to investigate empirically the informational role of professional certifiers. In the past 20 years, professional grading of sportscards has evolved in a way that provides a unique opportunity to measure the information provision of a monopolist certifier and that of subsequent entrants. Empirical results suggest three patterns: the grading certification provided by the first professional certifier offers new information to inexperienced traders but adds little information to experienced dealers. This implies that the certification may reduce the information asymmetry between informed and uninformed parties. Second, compared with the incumbent, new entrants adopt more precise signals and use finer grading cutoffs to differentiate from the incumbent. Third, our measured differentiated grading cutoffs map consistently into prevailing market prices, suggesting that the market recognizes differences across multiple grading criteria.

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Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Framed Field Experiments with number 00162.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00162
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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  1. Allen N. Berger & Sally M. Davies & Mark J. Flannery, 2000. "Comparing market and supervisory assessments of bank performance: who knows what when?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 641-670.
  2. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
  3. John A. List, 2002. "Preference Reversals of a Different Kind: The "More Is Less" Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1636-1643, December.
  4. Pinches, George E & Singleton, J Clay, 1978. "The Adjustment of Stock Prices to Bond Rating Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 29-44, March.
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  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521818551 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect Of Information On Product Quality: Evidence From Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451, May.
  10. Thompson, G Rodney & Vaz, Peter, 1990. "Dual Bond Ratings: A Test of the Certification Function of Rating Agencies," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 25(3), pages 457-71, August.
  11. Hsiao, Cheng, 1991. "Identification and Estimation of Dichotomous Latent Variables Models Using Panel Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 717-31, July.
  12. Guerra, G.A., 2001. "Certification Disclosure And Informational Efficiency: A Case For Ordered Ranking Of Levels," Economics Series Working Papers 9964, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer & Kevin Cole, 1997. "Split ratings and the pricing of credit risk," Research Paper 9711, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
  15. Pauline M. Ippolito & Alan D. Mathios, 1990. "Information, Advertising and Health Choices: A Study of the Cereal Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 459-480, Autumn.
  16. Grier, Paul & Katz, Steven, 1976. "The Differential Effects of Bond Rating Changes among Industrial and Public Utility Bonds by Maturity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 226-39, April.
  17. Gerardo A. Guerra, 2001. "Certification Disclosure and Informational Efficiency: A Case for Ordered Ranking of Levels," Economics Series Working Papers 64, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Andrew Kato & Ginger Jin, 2004. "Dividing online and offline: A case study," Natural Field Experiments 00276, The Field Experiments Website.
  19. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  20. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 2001. "Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure, and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 405-440, September.
  21. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  22. Cantor, Richard & Packer, Frank, 1997. "Differences of opinion and selection bias in the credit rating industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1395-1417, October.
  23. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
  24. Ederington, Louis H. & Goh, Jeremy C., 1998. "Bond Rating Agencies and Stock Analysts: Who Knows What When?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 569-585, December.
  25. Gary Biglaiser, 1993. "Middlemen as Experts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 212-223, Summer.
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