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Incentives and Reputation when Names can be Replaced: Valjean Reinvented as Monsieur Madeleine

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  • Bernardita Vial
  • Felipe Zurita

Abstract

This article studies the effect of the possibility that firms change their names over their incentives for choosing high quality. A firm may want to start over under a new name in order to avoid market punishment, if the reputation carried by its former name is too low. We find that that the effect of the name-changing option on incentives is ambiguous. Although the ability of avoiding punishment generally hurts incentives, it may sometimes improve them. Moreover, doing so may be the only way out a low-effort trap. The conditions under which each case obtains are explored.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernardita Vial & Felipe Zurita, 2013. "Incentives and Reputation when Names can be Replaced: Valjean Reinvented as Monsieur Madeleine," Documentos de Trabajo 447, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:447
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    File URL: http://www.economia.uc.cl/docs/dt_447.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven Tadelis, 1999. "What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 548-563, June.
    2. Liu, Qingmin & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2009. "Limited Records and Reputation," Research Papers 2030, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. Bernardita Vial & Felipe Zurita, 2013. "Reputation-Driven Industry Dynamics," Documentos de Trabajo 436, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    4. Ginger Zhe Jin & Andrew Kato, 2006. "Price, quality, and reputation: evidence from an online field experiment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 983-1005, December.
    5. Ekmekci, Mehmet, 2011. "Sustainable reputations with rating systems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 479-503, March.
    6. Heski Bar-Isaac, 2003. "Reputation and Survival: Learning in a Dynamic Signalling Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 231-251.
    7. Ryan C. McDevitt, 2011. "Names and Reputations: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 193-209, August.
    8. Vial Bernardita, 2010. "Walrasian Equilibrium and Reputation under Imperfect Public Monitoring," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-44, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reputation; forgiveness; incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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