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Re: towards a theory of reputation

Hal writes:
>Changing the market conventions (say, by introducing escrow agencies)
>will change the weightings of the various factors that make up
>utility.  If I no longer have to trust the honesty of the person I am
>trading with (because we have an escrow agency to help us make the
>exchange) then the importance of his reputation for honesty goes down.
>The result is that the "reputation" curves will change rather
>dynamically and unpredictably as we consider different possible
>structures in the market.  This will make the analysis of them
>intractable, I would think.

Analytically, using an escrow agent doesn't change the utility
function.  It replaces the trading partner's honesty reputation
estimate with the escrow agent's (which is presumably higher, or why
use them?).  This is just a parameter substitution.

Whence comes the intractability?