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The dark side of competitive pressure

Author

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  • Jason G. Cummins
  • Ingmar Nyman

Abstract

One of the most basic principles in economics is that competitive pressure promotes efficiency. However, this pressure can also have a dark side because it makes firms reluctant to act on private information that is unpopular with consumers. As a result, firms that possess superior information about the consequences of their actions for consumers' welfare may choose not to use it. We develop this idea in a simple model of delegated investment in which agents are fully rational and risk neutral, and agency problems are absent. We show that competitive pressure obliges firms to make inefficient decisions when their information advantage over consumers is relatively small. This result could be applied to a broad range of economically important situations.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason G. Cummins & Ingmar Nyman, 2002. "The dark side of competitive pressure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2002-43
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Roland Hodler & Simon Loertscher & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Biased Experts, Costly Lies, and Binary Decisions," Working Papers 10.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    2. Ascensión Andina-Díaz & José A. García-Martínez, 2014. "Media silence, feedback power and reputation," Working Papers 2014-03, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    3. repec:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201712)173:4_688:jh_2.0.tx_2- is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Matthew J. Baker & Ingmar Nyman, 2017. "Job Hoarding," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 173(4), pages 688-722, December.
    5. Ascensión Andina Díaz & José A. García-Martínez, 2016. "A careerist judge with two concerns," Working Papers 2016-02, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    6. Kemal Kivanç Aköz & Cemal Eren Arbatli, 2016. "Information Manipulation in Election Campaigns," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 181-215, July.
    7. Jason G. Cummins & Ingmar Nyman, 2013. "Yes Men in Tournaments," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(4), pages 621-659, December.
    8. Ascensión Andina-Díaz, 2015. "Competition and uncertainty in a paper’s news desk," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 77-93, September.
    9. Kemal K?vanc Akoz & Cemal Eren Arbatli, 2013. "Manipulated voters in competitive election campaigns," HSE Working papers WP BRP 31/EC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    10. Alex Chu & Xingqiang Du & Guohua Jiang, 2011. "Buy, Lie, or Die: An Investigation of Chinese ST Firms’ Voluntary Interim Audit Motive and Auditor Independence," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 135-153, August.
    11. Mike Felgenhauer, 2012. "Revealing information in electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 55-68, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investments ; Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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