Second-Degree Moral Hazard in a Real-World Credence Goods Market

30 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2014

See all articles by Loukas Balafoutas

Loukas Balafoutas

University of Innsbruck

Rudolf Kerschbamer

University of Innsbruck; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Abstract

Empirical literature on moral hazard focuses exclusively on the direct impact of asymmetric information on market outcomes, thus ignoring possible repercussions. We present a field experiment in which we consider a phenomenon that we call second-degree moral hazard – the tendency of the supply side in a market to react to anticipated moral hazard on the demand side by increasing the extent or the price of the service. In the market for taxi rides, our moral hazard manipulation consists of some passengers explicitly stating that their expenses will be reimbursed by their employer. This has an economically important and statistically significant positive effect on the likelihood of overcharging, with passengers in that treatment being about 13% more likely to pay higher-than-justified prices for a given ride. This indicates that second-degree moral hazard may have a substantial impact on service provision in a credence goods market.

Keywords: natural field experiment, credence goods, asymmetric information, moral hazard, overcharging, overtreatment, taxi

JEL Classification: C93, D82

Suggested Citation

Balafoutas, Loukas and Kerschbamer, Rudolf and Sutter, Matthias, Second-Degree Moral Hazard in a Real-World Credence Goods Market. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7714. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2363201

Loukas Balafoutas (Contact Author)

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020
Austria

Rudolf Kerschbamer

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitaetsstrasse 15
Innsbruck, A - 6020
Austria
+43 512 507 7400 (Phone)
+43 512 507 2980 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uibk.ac.at/c/c4/c409/staff/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Cologne, 50923
Germany

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