Thursday, June 25, 2020

Incentives of Low-Quality Sellers to Disclose Negative Information

By: Dmitry ShapiroSeung Huh
Abstract: The paper studies incentives of low-quality sellers to disclose negative information about their product. We develop a model where one¡¯s quality can be communicated via cheap-talk messages only. This setting limits ability of high-quality sellers to separate as any communication strategy they pursue can be costlessly imitated by low-quality sellers. Two factors that can incentivize low-quality sellers to communicate their quality are buyers¡¯ risk-attitude and competition. Quality disclosure reduces buyers¡¯ risk thereby increasing their willingness to pay. It also introduces product differentiation softening the competition. We show that equilibria where low-quality sellers separate exist under monopoly and duopoly. Even though low-quality sellers can costlessly imitate high-quality sellers, equilibria where high-quality sellers separate can also exist but under duopoly only.
Date: 2019–03

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