Secrecy and Safety
We employ a simple two-period model to show that the use of confidential settlement as a strategy for a firm facing tort litigation leads to lower average product safety than that which would be produced if a firm were committed to openness. Moreover, confidentiality can even lead to declining average product safety over time. We also show that a rational risk-neutral consumer's response to a market environment, wherein a firm engages in confidential settlement agreements, may be to reduce demand. We discuss how firm profitability is influenced by the decision to have open or confidential settlements; all else equal, a firm following a policy of openness will pay higher equilibrium wages and incur higher training costs, though product demand will not be diminished (as it may be for a firm employing confidentiality). Further, we characterize the choice of regime, providing conditions such that, if the cost of credible auditing (to verify openness) is low enough, a firm will choose to pay for auditing and eschew confidentiality.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2003|
|Date of revision:||Sep 2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mark N. Hertzendorf, 1993. "I'm Not a High-Quality Firm -- But I Play One on TV," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 236-247, Summer.
- Yang, Bill Z., 1996. "Litigation, experimentation, and reputation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 491-502, December.
- Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
- Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991.
"High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-39, March.
- Claude Fluet & Paolo G. Garella, 1999.
"Advertising and Prices as Signals of Quality in a Regime of Price Rivalry,"
Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM
9903, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
- Fluet, Claude & Garella, Paolo G., 2002. "Advertising and prices as signals of quality in a regime of price rivalry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 907-930, September.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1999. "Hush Money," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 661-678, Winter.
- Kyle Bagwell, 1991.
"Pricing to Signal Product Line Quality,"
921, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1994.
"Product Safety: Liability, R&D and Signaling,"
Game Theory and Information
9403007, EconWPA, revised 30 Mar 1994.
- Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984.
"Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum & Louise L. Wilde, 1986. "Settlement, Litigation, and the Allocation of Litigation Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 557-566, Winter.
- Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985.
"Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games,"
565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Laurent Linnemer, 1998. "Entry Deterrence, Product Quality: Price and Advertising as Signals," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 615-645, December.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
- repec:hoo:wpaper:e-91-11 is not listed on IDEAS
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2002. "Informational Externalities in Settlement Bargaining: Confidentiality and Correlated Culpability," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 587-604, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0317. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John P. Conley)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.