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On the use of labels in credence goods markets

  • Bonroy, O.
  • Constantatos, C.

We analyze credence goods markets in the case of two firms. Consumers know that the quality of the good varies but do not know which firm is of high quality. First, we show that the high quality producer may be unable to monopolize the market, or even to survive in some cases, in situations where it is efficient and trusted by all consumers. Second, although a label restoring full information improves welfare, it may also reduce both firms? profits by intensifying competition. Since even the high quality producer may not wish to label its product, in such cases the label must be mandatory. Third, an imperfect label which moves everybody?s beliefs closer to the truth without restoring full information may produce adverse results on market structure and welfare, either by increasing or by reducing the variance of beliefs.

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Paper provided by Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL) in its series Working Papers with number 200709.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:gbl:wpaper:200709
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  1. Murray Fulton & Konstantinos Giannakas, 2004. "Inserting GM Products into the Food Chain: The Market and Welfare Effects of Different Labeling and Regulatory Regimes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 42-60.
  2. Winand Emons, 1994. "Credence Goods and Fraudulent Experts," Diskussionsschriften dp9402, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  3. Paolo G. GARELLA & Emmanuel PETRAKIS, 2007. "Minimum quality standards and consumers’ information," Departmental Working Papers 2007-12, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  4. Crespi, John M. & Marette, Stephan, 2003. "Some Economic Implications Of Public Labeling," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 34(03), November.
  5. Emons, Winand, 2001. "Credence goods monopolists," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 375-389, March.
  6. Jean J. Gabszewicz & Isabel Grilo, 1992. "Price Competition When Consumersare Uncertain About Which Firm Sells Which Quality," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 629-650, December.
  7. Segerson, Kathleen, 1998. "Mandatory vs. Voluntary Approaches to Food Safety," Research Reports 25188, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  8. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-83, September.
  9. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
  10. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Optimal Pricing of Experience Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 497-507, Autumn.
  11. John M. Crespi & St)phan Marette, 2001. "How Should Food Safety Certification be Financed?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 852-861.
  12. Kathleen Segerson, 1999. "Mandatory versus voluntary approaches to food safety," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 53-70.
  13. Marette, Stephan & Bureau, Jean-Christophe & Gozlan, Estelle, 2000. "Product Safety Provision and Consumers' Information," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 426-41, December.
  14. Brian Roe & Ian Sheldon, 2007. "Credence Good Labeling: The Efficiency and Distributional Implications of Several Policy Approaches," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1020-1033.
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