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"A Theory of Collective Reputations" with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality

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  • Tirole, Jean

Abstract

The paper is a first attempt at modelling the idea of group reputation as an aggregate of individual reputations. A member's current incentives are affected by his past behaviour and, because his track record is observed only with noise, by the group's past behaviour as well. The paper thus studies the joint dynamics of individual and collective reputations and derives the existence of stereotypes from history dependence rather than from a multiplicity of equilibria or from the existence of a common trait as is usually done in the literature. It shows that new members of an organization may suffer from an original sin of their elders long after the latter are gone, and it derives necessary and sufficient conditions under which group reputations can be rebuilt. Last, the paper applies the theory to analyse when a large firm can maintain a reputation for quality.
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Suggested Citation

  • Tirole, Jean, 1994. ""A Theory of Collective Reputations" with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality," IDEI Working Papers 38, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:4562
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Environmental policy, compliance and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 555-562, April.
    2. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
    3. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
    4. Baron, David P. & Besanko, David, 1984. "Regulation and information in a continuing relationship," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 267-302.
    5. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-1089, September.
    6. M. Dewatripont & G. Roland, 1992. "Economic Reform and Dynamic Political Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 703-730.
    7. Karl Hausker, 1992. "The politics and economics of auction design in the market for sulfur dioxide pollution," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 553-572.
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