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Selling Information to Competitive Firms

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Abstract

A monopolistic information provider sells an informative experiment to a large number of perfectly competitive firms. Within each firm, a principal contracts with an exclusive agent who is privately informed about his production cost. Principals decide whether to acquire the experiment, that is informative about the agent’s production cost. While more accurate information reduces agency costs and allows firms to increase production, it also results in a lower market price, which reduces principals’ willingness to pay for information. We show that, even if information is costless for the provider, the optimal experiment is not fully informative when demand is price-inelastic and agents are likely to be inefficient. This result hinges on the assumption that firms are competitive and exacerbates when principals can coordinate vis-à-vis the information provider. In an imperfectly competitive information market, providers may restrict information by not selling the experiment to some of the principals.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakub Kastl & Marco Pagnozzi & Salvatore Piccolo, 2015. "Selling Information to Competitive Firms," CSEF Working Papers 420, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:420
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    1. Jorge Padilla & Salvatore Piccolo & Helder Vasconcelos, 2020. "On the Private and Social Value of Consumer Data in Vertically-Integrated Platform Markets," CSEF Working Papers 583, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adverse Selection; Information Acquisition; Experiments; Competitive Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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