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Sequential decisions with tests

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  • Gill, David
  • Sgroi, Daniel

Abstract

We consider a principal-agent problem where the principal wishes to be endorsed by a sequence of agents, but cannot truthfully reveal type. In the standard "herding" model, the agents learn from each other's decisions, which can lead to cascades on a given decision when later agents' private information is swamped. We augment the standard model to allow the principal to subject herself to a test designed to provide public information about her type. She must decide how tough a test to attempt from a continuum of test types, which involves trading off the higher probability of passing an easier test against the greater impact from passing a tougher test. We find that the principal will always choose to be tested, and will prefer a tough test to a neutral or easy one.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 663-678

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:663-678

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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References

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  1. Marco Ottaviani & Andrea Prat, 2001. "The Value of Public Information in Monopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1673-1683, November.
  2. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 716-27, September.
  3. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  4. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  5. Gill, D. & Sgroi, D., 2003. "Product Launches with Biased Reviewers: The Importance of Not Being Earnest," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0334, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Albano, Gian Luigi & Lizzeri, Alessandro, 2001. "Strategic Certification and Provision of Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 267-83, February.
  7. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2012. "The optimal choice of pre-launch reviewer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1247-1260.
  8. Sgroi, Daniel, 2002. "Optimizing Information in the Herd: Guinea Pigs, Profits, and Welfare," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 137-166, April.
  9. David Gill & Daniel Sgroi, 2004. "The Superiority of Biased Reviewers in a Model of Simultaneous Sales," Economics Series Working Papers 206, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Benjamin Chiao & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "The Rules of Standard Setting Organizations: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 11156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2006. "A Model of Forum Shopping," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
  12. Taylor, Curtis R, 1999. "Time-on-the-Market as a Sign of Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 555-78, July.
  13. Gill, D. & Sgroi, D., 2003. "The Superiority of Tough Reviewers in a Model of Simultaneous Sales," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0335, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  14. Smith, L. & Sorensen, P., 1996. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Working papers 96-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Emmanuel Farhi & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Certifying New Technologies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 734-744, 04/05.
  16. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "A Model of Forum Shopping, with Special Reference to Standard Setting Organizations," NBER Working Papers 10664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Sgroi, Daniel & Oswald, Andrew J., 2012. "How Should Peer-Review Panels Behave?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 999, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2012. "The optimal choice of pre-launch reviewer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1247-1260.
  3. Ting Liu & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2012. "New product launch: herd seeking or herd preventing?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 627-648, November.
  4. Alexei Parakhonyak & Nick Vikander, 2013. "Optimal Sales Schemes for Network Goods," Discussion Papers 13-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2008. "The Optimal Choice of Pre-launch Reviewer : How Best to Transmit Information using Tests and Conditional Pricing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 877, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

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