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Incomplete Disclosure: Evidence of Signaling and Countersignaling

Benjamin B. Bederson, Ginger Zhe Jin, Phillip Leslie, Alexander J. Quinn and Ben Zou

No 22710, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: In 2011, Maricopa County adopted voluntary restaurant hygiene grade cards (A, B, C, D). Using inspections results between 2007 and 2013, we show that only 58 percent of the subsequent inspections led to online grade posting. Although the disclosure rate in general declines with inspection outcome, higher-quality A restaurants are less likely to disclose than lower-quality As. After examining potential explanations, we believe the observed pattern is best explained by a mixture of signaling and countersignaling: the better A restaurants use nondisclosure as a countersignal, while worse As and better Bs use disclosure to stand out from the other restaurants.

JEL-codes: D82 H75 I18 L15 L81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mkt
Date: 2016-10
Note: IO
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Published as Benjamin B. Bederson & Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie & Alexander J. Quinn & Ben Zou, 2018. "Incomplete Disclosure: Evidence of Signaling and Countersignaling," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, vol 10(1), pages 41-66.

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