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Constrained Communication with Multiple Agents: Anonymity, Equal Treatment, and Public Good Provision

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  • Kohei Kawamura

Abstract

This paper studies information transmission subject to anonymity requirements and communication in public good provision without transfers. The structure of informative equilibria under anonymity or in public good provision can di¤er substantially from that of direct one-to-one communication, and in particular we distinguish i) informational distortion caused by the intrinsic divergence of preferences between the decision maker and each agent; and ii) informational distortion caused by the decision maker's weak response to each agent's message due to the equal treatment of all agents that results from anonymity or the nature of public goods. We examine the interaction between these two types of distortion and demonstrate that they may partly offset one another. Information transmission and welfare can be enhanced by introducing the second type of distortion through anonymity when the first type of distortion is severe. In public good provision where the intrinsic preference divergence between the utilitarian decision maker and each agent is absent, as the number of agents becomes larger the quality of communication diminishes and informative equilibria converge to the one that can be played by letting each agent report a binary message (e.g. "yes" or "no") even if their preferences and the decision are continuous.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 166.

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Length: 40
Date of creation: 13 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:166

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Related research

Keywords: Cheap Talk; Anonymous Communication; Equal Treatment; Public Good Provision.;

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  1. In-Uck Park, 2005. "Cheap-Talk Referrals of Differentiated Experts in Repeated Relationships," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 391-411, Summer.
  2. Roland Strausz & Kay Mitusch, . "Mediation in Situations of Conflict and Limited Commitment," Papers 023, Departmental Working Papers.
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  4. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 145-79, March.
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  6. Marco Battaglini, 2002. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1379-1401, July.
  7. Helmut Bester & Roland Strausz, . "Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle," Papers 004, Departmental Working Papers.
  8. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model Of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775, May.
  9. Myerson, Roger B, 1986. "Multistage Games with Communication," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 323-58, March.
  10. Bagnoli, Mark & Lipman, Barton L, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601, October.
  11. Wolinsky, Asher, 2002. "Eliciting information from multiple experts," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 141-160, October.
  12. Austen-Smith David, 1993. "Interested Experts and Policy Advice: Multiple Referrals under Open Rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 3-43, January.
  13. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
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