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Article

A More General Framework to Analyze Whether Voluntary Disclosure is Insufficient or Excessive

Review of Industrial Organization. 2014. Vol. 44. No. 2. P. 161-178.

I analyze if the excessive quality disclosure finding of the “classical literature” extends to environments in which consumers have a downward-sloping demand. While the answer is affirmative, there are at least two situations under which disclosure is socially insufficient: (1) when there are quality levels that are too low to generate any positive demand; and (2) when the prior beliefs place sufficiently higher weight on lower qualities. In both cases, non-disclosure by the seller leads to a severe reduction in the perceived quality, thereby significantly lowering the demand and the quantity consumed.