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Learning More by Doing Less

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Author Info

  • Ralph Boleslavsky

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Christopher Cotton

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

Abstract

A principal must decide whether to implement each of two independent proposals (e.g., earmark requests, policy reforms, grant funding) of unknown quality. Each proposal is represented by an agent who advocates by producing evidence about quality. Although the principal prefers the most-informative evidence, agents strategically choose less-informative evidence to maximize the probability the principal implements their proposals. In this setting, we show how limited capacity (i.e., the ability of the principal to implement at most one of the two proposals) can motivate agents to produce more-informative evidence in an effort to convince the principal that their proposal is better than the alternative. We derive reasonable conditions under which the principal prefers limited capacity to unlimited capacity.

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File URL: http://www.bus.miami.edu/_assets/files/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/eco/eco-working-papers/2011/WP2011-6.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011-6.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: Working
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2011-6

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Related research

Keywords: Strategic search; Evidence production; Persuasion; Lobbying.;

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References

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  1. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Emeric Henry, 2009. "Disclosure of research results: the cost of proving your honesty," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  3. Liad Wagman & Vincent Conitzer, 2012. "Choosing fair lotteries to defeat the competition," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 91-129, February.
  4. Matthew Gentzkow & Emir Kamenica, 2011. "Competition in Persuasion," NBER Working Papers 17436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2009. "Bayesian Persuasion," NBER Working Papers 15540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  7. Che, Yeon-Koo & Kartik, Navin, 2006. "Opinion as Incentives," MPRA Paper 6094, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Nov 2007.
  8. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2002. "Evidence Disclosure and Verfiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt19p7z2gm, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  9. Emeric Henry, 2009. "Strategic Disclosure of Research Results: The Cost of Proving Your Honesty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1036-1064, 07.
  10. Christopher Cotton, 2008. "Should We Tax or Cap Political Contributions? A Lobbying Model with Policy Favors and Access," Working Papers 0901, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatr74eao is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Emeric Henry, 2009. "Disclosure of research results: the cost of proving your honesty," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
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Cited by:
  1. Barbos, Andrei, 2012. "Imperfect Evaluation in Project Screening," MPRA Paper 40847, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Barbos, Andrei, 2013. "Project screening with tiered evaluation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 293-306.

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