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Reveal it or conceal it: On the value of second opinions in a low-entry-barriers credence goods market

Parampreet Bindra (), Rudolf Kerschbamer (), Daniel Neururer () and Matthias Sutter ()

Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck

Abstract: Credence goods markets with their asymmetric information between buyers and sellers are prone to large inefficiencies. In theory, poorly informed consumers can protect themselves from maltreatment through sellers by asking for second opinions from other sellers. Yet, empirical evidence whether this is a successful strategy is scarce. Here we present a natural field experiment in the market for computer repairs. We find that revealing a second opinion from another expert to the seller does neither increase the rate of successful repairs nor decrease the average repair price. We assess under which conditions gathering a second opinion can be valuable.

Keywords: Credence goods; expert services; second opinions; natural field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2020-09
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