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Taking Advice from Imperfectly Informed Lobbyists: When to Match Hawks with Hawks

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  • Frisell, Lars

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

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    Abstract

    In this paper we study a sender-receiver game between an uninformed government and two informed lobbyists. There is a conflict of interest between government and lobbyists in the sense that the government's payoff is state-dependent while lobbyists prefer a certain policy irrespective of the contingency. Hence, lobbyists' recommendations cannot be trusted a priori and a single lobbyist will convey no information in equilibrium. When two or more lobbyists interact non-cooperatively, matters improve. Our main result is that, contrasting previous results, homogeneous panels may be preferred to a heterogeneous one. If lobbyists are perfectly informed the first-best equilibrium exists even when the game has cheap talk. Moreover, if inaccurate messages impose a cost on the sender, i.e., if lobbyists care about their prestige, the assumption of perfectly informed advisors is not necessary to sustain truthtelling. In other words, reputational concerns work as a substitute for informational precision.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 355.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: 03 Feb 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0355

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    Related research

    Keywords: Heterogeneous vs. homogeneous panels; informational efficiency; reputation; external forces;

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    References

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    1. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 1999. "A Model of Expertise," Working Papers 154, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
    2. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
    3. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Shin Hyun Song, 1994. "The Burden of Proof in a Game of Persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 253-264, October.
    6. Gilligan, Thomas W & Krehbiel, Keith, 1987. "Collective Decisionmaking and Standing Committees: An Informational Rationale for Restrictive Amendment Procedures," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 287-335, Fall.
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