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What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset

  • Steve Tadelis

August 28, 1997 A firm's reputation is considered an important asset. I develop a model in which a firm's only asset is its name -- which is associated with its reputation -- and study the economic forces which cause names to be valuable, tradeable assets. A simple adverse selection model together with an assumption on the non-observability of shifts of ownership guarantees that in equilibrium the market for names is active. This result is robust to both finite and infinite horizons, in contrast to standard results in the reputation literature. I also show that situations in which only good types buy names with a good reputation cannot be sustained in equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Stanford University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 97033.

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Date of creation: 28 Aug 1997
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Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:97033
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  1. Douglas W. Diamond, 1998. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 602, David K. Levine.
  2. Birger Wernerfelt, 1988. "Umbrella Branding as a Signal of New Product Quality: An Example of Signalling by Posting a Bond," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 458-466, Autumn.
  3. Tirole, J., 1993. "A Theory of Collective Reputations with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality," Working papers 93-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 1998. "Your Reputation Is Who You're Not, Not Who You'd Like To Be," CARESS Working Papres rep-is-sep, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  6. David Kreps & Paul Milgrom & John Roberts & Bob Wilson, 2010. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 239, David K. Levine.
  7. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Douglas Gale & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1992. "Price and Quality Cycles for Experience Goods," Papers 0035, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  10. Steven Tadelis, 2003. "Firm reputation with hidden information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 635-651, 03.
  11. 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 615-41, August.
  12. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  13. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-99, May.
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