Beautiful lemons: Adverse selection in durable-goods markets with sorting

Jonathan R. Peterson, Henry S. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We document a basic characteristic of adverse selection in secondhand markets for durable goods: goods with higher observed quality may have more adverse selection and hence lower unobserved quality.We provide a simple theoretical model to demonstrate this result, which is a consequence of the interaction of sorting between drivers over observed quality and adverse selection over unobserved quality. We then offer empirical support using data on secondhand prices and repair rates of used cars from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, and discuss a number of implications for everyday advertising and consumer questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3111-3127
Number of pages17
JournalManagement Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • Industrial organization: firm objectives
  • Market structure and pricing
  • Marketing
  • Microeconomics
  • Pricing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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