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Information Acquisition in Competitive Markets: An Application to the US Mortgage Market

Information Acquisition in Competitive Markets: An Application to the US Mortgage Market Abstract How do price commitments impact the amount of information firms acquire about potential customers? We examine this question in the context of a competitive market where firms search for information that may disqualify applicants. Contracts are incomplete because the amount of information acquired cannot be observed. Despite competition, we find that firms search for too much information in equilibrium. If price discrimination is prohibited, members of high-risk groups suffer disproportionately high rejection rates. If rejected applicants remain in the market, the resulting adverse selection can be severe. We apply the results to the US mortgage market. (JEL D82, D83, D86, G21 ) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Microeconomics American Economic Association

Information Acquisition in Competitive Markets: An Application to the US Mortgage Market

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by the American Economic Association
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1945-7685
eISSN
1945-7685
DOI
10.1257/mic.4.4.65
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract How do price commitments impact the amount of information firms acquire about potential customers? We examine this question in the context of a competitive market where firms search for information that may disqualify applicants. Contracts are incomplete because the amount of information acquired cannot be observed. Despite competition, we find that firms search for too much information in equilibrium. If price discrimination is prohibited, members of high-risk groups suffer disproportionately high rejection rates. If rejected applicants remain in the market, the resulting adverse selection can be severe. We apply the results to the US mortgage market. (JEL D82, D83, D86, G21 )

Journal

American Economic Journal: MicroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Nov 1, 2012

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