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An Exploration of Competitive Signalling Equilibria with 'Third Party' Information Production: The Case of Debt Insurance

  • Anjan V. Thakor

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

In markets in which sellers know more about product quality than buyers, but cannot convey their superior information either by directly issuing costly signals of the Spence type or by successfully funding the production of information, I suggest another way in which the informational asymmetry problem can be resolved; a third party can produce the necessary information at a cost and use it to price a service consumed by the sellers. Buyers can then observe a seller's choice of service consumption level and be well informed in equilibrium. In this framework I construct a model in which a borrower's choice of insurance coverage signals its default probability to lenders, and explore the properties of the resulting signalling equilibrium in a variety of cases.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/fin/papers/0411/0411028.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 0411028.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 11 Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0411028
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 24
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Riley, John G., 1975. "Competitive signalling," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 174-186, April.
  2. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
  3. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1979. "Optimal incentive contracts with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-259, April.
  4. Salop, Joanne & Salop, Steven, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-27, November.
  5. Joanne Salop & Steve Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  7. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  8. Campbell, Tim S & Kracaw, William A, 1980. " Information Production, Market Signalling, and the Theory of Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(4), pages 863-82, September.
  9. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Information and Competitive Price Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 246-53, May.
  10. 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.
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