Intermediaries as Quality Assessors in Markets with Asymmetric
. Intermediaries often arise in order to facilitate trade in markets characterized by asymmetric information. In this paper we study the intermediary role of tour operators in the market for package tourism. Policymakers have tried to address information asymmetries in this market by providing hotel ratings. We show that those ratings are not accurate indicators of quality and that tour operators play a vital role by pooling together information about different holiday destinations and providing their own ratings of accommodations. We also find that significant price variation exists across countries, and that some countries systematically under- or over-rate their hotels.
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