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Reputation: Studies in the voluntary elicitation of good conduct

Опубликовано на портале: 20-10-2003
Ред.: Daniel Klein
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997, cерия "Economics, cognition and society", 318 с.
The studies in this volume reveal how vast information systems like Dun & Bradstreet and TRW generate reputation and beneficial exchange, and how brand names, middlemen, and dealers give their own sort of seal of approval. One chapter describes the origins of Underwriters' Laboratories, an organization that sells its inspection services and mark of approval for product safety. Another argues that J. P. Morgan's investment banking service was in large part applying astute judgment in granting the Morgan seal of approval to firms in need of capital. Other, less formal, reputational mechanisms such as gossip, customary law, and written correspondence are also explored. Contexts range from trust among merchants in Medieval Europe, social control in small communities, and good conduct in a vast anonymous society such as our own.

"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools that have not wit enough to be honest," wrote Benjamin Franklin. This volume explores ways in which the honest establish trust and enjoy good fortune, even without policing. The central mechanism at work is reputation. To work, information about the individual's conduct must be observed, interpreted, recorded, stored, and transmitted. Different forms of "seals of approval" develop to communicate the quality of an individual's reputation to others.
The studies in this volume reveal how vast information systems like Dun & Bradstreet and TRW generate reputation and beneficial exchange, and how brand names, middlemen, and dealers give their own sort of seal of approval. One chapter describes the origins of Underwriters' Laboratories, an organization that sells its inspection services and mark of approval for product safety. Another argues that J. P. Morgan's investment banking service was in large part applying astute judgment in granting the Morgan seal of approval to firms in need of capital. Other, less formal, reputational mechanisms such as gossip, customary law, and written correspondence are also explored. Contexts range from trust among merchants in Medieval Europe, social control in small communities, and good conduct in a vast anonymous society such as our own.
Throughout these broad-ranging studies, the central theme of the volume emerges: in an open, competitive environment, honesty can recruit cleverness to assert itself and to drive out the dishonest. Contributors include Bruce Benson, Harry Chase Brearly, J. Benson De Long, Avner Greif, Benjamin Klein, Keith B. Leffler, Sally Engle Merry, Paul R. Milgrom, J. Wilson Newman, Douglass C. North, Marc Ryser, Adam Smith, Gordon Tullock, and Barry R. Weingast.
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    Contents
    Knowledge. Reputation, and Trust, by Voluntary Means
    Daniel B.Klein
    Part 1. Readings for the Nonspecialist
    Lecture on the Influence of Commerce on Manners
    Adam Smith
    Adam Smith and the Prisoners' Dilemma
    Gordon Tullock
    Good Conduct in the Great Society: Adam Smith and the Role of Reputation
    Jeremy Shearmur and Daniel B. Klein
    Rethinking Gossip and Scanda
    Sally Engle Merry
    A Symbol of Safety: The Origins of Underwriters' Laboratories
    Harry Chase Brearly
    Dun & Bradstreet: For the Promotion and Protection of Trade
    J. Wilson Newman
    Trust for Hire: Voluntary Remedies for Quality and Safety
    Daniel B.Klein
    Part 2. More Specialized Studies
    Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders
    Avner Greif
    The Spontaneous Evolution of Commercial Law
    Bruce L. Benson
    Did J. P. Morgan's Men Add Value? An Economist's Perspective on Financial Capitalism
    J. Bradford De Long
    Sanctions without Law: The Japanese Financial Clearinghouse Guillotine and Its Impact on Default Rates
    Marc Ryser
    Part 3. Technical Papers
    The Role of Institutions in the Revival of Trade: The Law Merchant, Private Judges, and the Champagne Fairs
    Paul R. Milgrom, Douglass C. North, and Barry R. Weingast
    Promise Keeping in the Great Society: A Model of Credit Information Sharing
    Daniel B. Klein
    The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance
    Benjamin Klein and Keith B. Leffler

    Contributors
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