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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 3 No. 3 (August 2011)

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Names and Reputations: An Empirical Analysis

Article Citation

McDevitt, Ryan C. 2011. "Names and Reputations: An Empirical Analysis." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 3(3): 193-209.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.3.193

Abstract

This paper tests several predictions from the literature on firm reputation, and confirms a main result: poor performance leads a firm to conceal its reputation. A residential plumbing firm with a record of complaints one standard deviation above the mean is 133.2 percent more likely to change its name. In addition, firms with longer track records are less likely to change their names or exit, while firms with more firm-specific investments, such as advertising, are more likely to change their names than exit. In addition, firms in small markets value their reputations comparatively more than firms in large markets. (JEL L14, L25, L84)

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Authors

McDevitt, Ryan C. (U Rochester)

JEL Classifications

L14: Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation; Networks
L25: Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
L84: Personal, Professional, and Business Services

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