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

Steven Tadelis

American Economic Review, 1999, vol. 89, issue 3, 548-563

Abstract: The author develops a model in which a firm's only asset is its name, which summarizes its reputation, and studies the forces that cause names to be valuable, tradable assets. An adverse selection model in which shifts of ownership are not observable guarantees an active market for names with either finite or infinite horizons. No equilibrium exists in which only good types buy good names. The reputational dynamics that emerge from the model are more realistic than those in standard game-theoretic reputation models and suggest that adverse selection plays a crucial role in understanding firm reputation.

JEL-codes: L14 M21 M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1999
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.3.548
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Working Paper: What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset (1997) Downloads
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