NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Andrew Kato

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Working Papers

July 2006That's News to Me! Information Revelation in Professional Certification Markets
with Ginger Zhe Jin, John A. List: w12390
Using sportscard grading as an example, we employ field experiments to investigate empirically the informational role of professional certifiers. In the past 20 years, professional grading of sportscards has evolved in a way that provides a unique opportunity to measure the information provision of a monopolist certifier and that of subsequent entrants. Empirical results suggest three patterns: the grading certification provided by the first professional certifier offers new information to inexperienced traders but adds little information to experienced dealers. This implies that the certification may reduce the information asymmetry between informed and uninformed parties. Second, compared with the incumbent, new entrants adopt more precise signals and use finer grading cutoffs to differe...

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