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Gurus and OraclesThe Marketing of Information$
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Miklos Sarvary

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016940

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016940.001.0001

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Why Information Sellers May Lie

Why Information Sellers May Lie

(p.49) 4 Why Information Sellers May Lie
Gurus and Oracles

Miklos Sarvary

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the distortions in the quality of information, particularly those caused by the biases and “herding” by information providers. It analyzes under what conditions and for what reasons information sellers may lie and suggests that biases may emerge even under competition and that biases may not always make consumers worse off. It explains that bias may be wisdom if it reflects the information seller’s prior information and discusses the tendency of information sellers to combine different information sources as well as their own prior beliefs when they form updated beliefs about events.

Keywords:   quality of information, biases, herding, competition, wisdom, information sources, updated beliefs

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