DP9531 | The Value of Relationships: Evidence from a Supply Shock to Kenyan Rose Exports

Publication Date

30/06/2013

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Abstract

This paper provides evidence on the importance of reputation, intended as beliefs buyers hold about seller's reliability, in the context of the Kenyan rose export sector. A model of reputation and relational contracting is developed and tested. We show that 1) the value of the relationship increases with the age of the relationship; 2) during an exogenous negative supply shock sellers prioritize relationships consistently with the predictions of the model; and 3) reliability at the time of the shock positively correlates with future survival and relationship value. Models exclusively focusing on enforcement or insurance considerations cannot account for the evidence.