Seller experimentation and trade

Peter Wagner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of trade opportunities on a seller’s incentive to acquire information through experimentation. I characterize the unique equilibrium outcome and discuss the effects of variations in the information structure on the probability of trade. The main result is that more accurate information for the buyer can reduce social welfare. Efficiency requires that the buyer offers a price that the seller always accepts and that the seller experiments when it is socially optimal to do so. When the buyer receives very informative signals about positive experimentation outcomes, the absence of such a signal can induce the buyer to purchase the good only with low but known quality at a low price. If the buyer receives an informative signal about negative experimentation outcomes, the seller might prefer to not experiment so as to avoid the risk of generating a negative outcome that could trigger the buyer to reduce her offer.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalREVIEW OF ECONOMIC DESIGN
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022

Keywords

  • Adverse selection
  • Experimentation
  • Learning
  • Market for lemons
  • Trade

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