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Two-sided reputation in certification markets

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  • Bouvard, Matthieu
  • Levy, Raphael

Abstract

We consider a market where privately informed sellers resort to certification to overcome adverse selection. There is uncertainty about the certifier's ability to generate accurate information. The profit of a monopolistic certifier is an inverted U-shaped function of his reputation for accuracy: being perceived as more precise allows to attract more good sellers but a high expected precision also deters bad sellers. Since the certifier tries to reach a balanced reputation to attract both types, reputation has a disciplining effect when the certifier is perceived as insufficiently accurate, but gives incentives to decrease precision when he is perceived as “too" accurate. The impact of competition depends on whether sellers “multihome" or “singlehome". Under singlehoming, certifiers compete to attract good sellers, which makes higher reputation more valuable. Multihoming makes higher reputations less desirable because the competitor exerts a negative externality by providing extra information. Therefore, singlehoming attenuates bad reputation effects, while multihoming exacerbates inefficiencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouvard, Matthieu & Levy, Raphael, 2013. "Two-sided reputation in certification markets," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 446, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:446
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Thomas, 2015. "Market structure and rating strategies in credit rating markets – A dynamic model with matching of heterogeneous bond issuers and rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 39-56.
    2. Belleflamme, Paul & Omrani, Nessrine & Peitz, Martin, 2015. "The economics of crowdfunding platforms," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 11-28.
    3. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2013. "Credit Rating Industry: a Helicopter Tour of Stylized Facts and Recent Theories," IDEI Working Papers 762, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    4. Joel Shapiro & David Skeie, 2015. "Information Management in Banking Crises," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 28(8), pages 2322-2363.
    5. Sivan Frenkel, 2015. "Repeated Interaction and Rating Inflation: A Model of Double Reputation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 250-280, February.
    6. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Deb, Joyee, 2014. "What is a good reputation? Career concerns with heterogeneous audiences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 44-50.
    7. Baghai, Ramin P. & Becker, Bo, 2020. "Reputations and credit ratings: Evidence from commercial mortgage-backed securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(2), pages 425-444.
    8. Ascensión Andina-Díaz, 2015. "Competition and uncertainty in a paper’s news desk," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 77-93, September.
    9. Julien Jacqmin & Mathieu Lefebvre, 2021. "The effect of international accreditations on students’ decisions: Evidence from French business schools," Working Papers of BETA 2021-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    10. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2013. "Credit rating industry: A helicopter tour of stylized facts and recent theories," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 643-651.
    11. Eraslan, Hulya & Ozerturk, Saltuk, 2017. "Information Gatekeeping and Media Bias," Working Papers 17-001, Rice University, Department of Economics.
    12. Kisgen, Darren J. & Nickerson, Jordan & Osborn, Matthew & Reuter, Jonathan, 2020. "Analyst Promotions within Credit Rating Agencies: Accuracy or Bias?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 869-896, May.
    13. Wenming Xu & Yan Liu, 2021. "Does reputational capital affect credit rating agencies?: empirical evidence from a natural experiment in China," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 433-468, June.
    14. Hulya Eraslan & Saltuk Ozerturk, 2018. "Information Gatekeeping and Media Bias," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1808, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    15. Paul Belleflamme & Martin Peitz, 2018. "Inside the Engine Room of Digital Platforms: Reviews, Ratings, and Recommendations," Working Papers halshs-01714549, HAL.

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    JEL classification:

    • 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

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