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"Reputation and Competition''

Listed author(s):
  • Johannes Hörner

This paper shows how competition generates reputation-building behavior in repeated interactions when the product quality observed by consumers is a noisy signal of firms' effort level. There are two types of firms and "good" firms try to distinguish themselves from "bad" firms. Although consumers get convinced that firms which are repeatedly successful in providing high quality are good firms, competition endogenously generates the outside option inducing disappointed consumers to leave firms. This threat of exit induces good firms to choose high effort, allowing good reputations to be valuable, but its uncompromising execution forces good firms out of the market. (JEL C7, D8)
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File URL: http://www.ssc.upenn.edu/econ/CARESS/CARESSpdf/99-02.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences in its series CARESS Working Papres with number 99-02.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennca:99-02
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  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1989. "Imperfect information in the product market," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 769-847 Elsevier.
  2. Cole, Harold L & Dow, James & English, William B, 1995. "Default, Settlement, and Signalling: Lending Resumption in a Reputational Model of Sovereign Debt," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 365-385, May.
  3. Steven Tadelis, 1999. "What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 548-563, June.
  4. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, "undated". "Your Reputation Is Who You're Not, Not Who You'd Like To Be," Penn CARESS Working Papers bb1b279d6539c9ed3b83a027c, Penn Economics Department.
  5. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 415-441.
  6. Craswell, Allen T. & Francis, Jere R. & Taylor, Stephen L., 1995. "Auditor brand name reputations and industry specializations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 297-322, December.
  7. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-443.
  8. 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.
  9. Martinelli, Cesar, 1997. "Small firms, borrowing constraints, and reputation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 91-105, May.
  10. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
  11. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-394.
  12. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-862, August.
  13. Drew Fudenberg & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 541-568.
  14. Russell Cooper & Thomas W. Ross, 1984. "Prices, Product Qualities and Asymmetric Information: The Competitive Case," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 197-207.
  15. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-754, July/Aug..
  16. Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
  17. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
  18. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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