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Pricing and Trust

  • Steffen Huck

    (University College London)

  • Gabriele K. Ruchala

    (University College London)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

We experimentally examine the effects of flexible and fixed prices in markets for experience goods in which demand is driven by trust. With flexible prices, we observe low prices and high quality in competitive (oligopolistic) markets, and high prices coupled with low quality in non-competitive (monopolistic) markets. We then introduce a regulated intermediate price above the oligopoly price and below the monopoly price. The effect in monopolies is more or less in line with standard intuition. As price falls volume increases and so does quality, such that overall efficiency is raised by 50%. However, quite in contrast to standard intuition, we also observe an efficiency rise in response to regulation in oligopolies. Both, transaction volume and traded quality are, in fact, maximal in regulated oligopolies.

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 07-04.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0704
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  1. Iris Bohnet & Steffen Huck, 2004. "Repetition and Reputation: Implications for Trust and Trustworthiness When Institutions Change," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-09, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  2. Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Competition fosters trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 195-209.
  3. Seale, James L., Jr. & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence On Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 33580, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Claudia Keser, 2002. "Trust and Reputation Building in E-Commerce," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-75, CIRANO.
  5. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
  6. Iris Bohnet & Bruno S. Frey & Steffen Huck, . "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," IEW - Working Papers 052, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Martin Dufwenberg & Uri Gneezy & Jacob Goeree & Rosemarie Nagel, 2007. "Price floors and competition," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 211-224, October.
  8. Coursey, Don L & Smith, Vernon L, 1983. "Price Controls in a Posted Offer Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 218-21, March.
  9. Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
  10. Isaac, R. Mark & Plott, Charles R., . "Price Controls and the Behavior of Auction Markets: An Experimental Examination," Working Papers 253, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Smith, Vernon L & Williams, Arlington W, 1981. "On Nonbinding Price Controls in a Competitive Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 467-74, June.
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