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Voluntary Commitments Lead to Efficiency

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  • Adam Tauman Kalai
  • Ehud Kalai
  • Dov Samet

Abstract

Consider an agent (manager,artist, etc.) who has imperfect private information about his productivity. At the beginning of his career (period 1, “short run”), the agent chooses among publicly observable actions that generate imperfect signals of his productivity. The actions can be ranked according to the informativeness of the signals they generate. The market observes the agent’s action and the signal generated by it, and pays a wage equal to his expected productivity. In period 2 (the “long run”), the agent chooses between a constant payoff and a wage proportional to his true productivity, and the game ends. We show that in any equilibrium where not all types of the agent choose the same action, the average productivity of an agent choosing a less informative action is greater. However, the types choosing that action are not uniformly higher. In particular, we derive conditions for the existence of a tripartite equilibrium where low and high types pool on a less informative action while medium (on average, lower) types choose to send a more informative signal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1444.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1444

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Keywords: signalling; career concerns;

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References

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  1. Epstein, Larry G. & Peters, Michael, 1999. "A Revelation Principle for Competing Mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 119-160, September.
  2. Ehud Kalai & Dov Samet, 1983. "Unanimity Games and Pareto Optimality," Discussion Papers 546, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  4. Tennenholtz, Moshe, 2004. "Program equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 363-373, November.
  5. Jackson, Matthew O., 1999. "A Crash Course in Implementation Theory," Working Papers 1076, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  6. Aumann, Robert J. & Heifetz, Aviad, 2001. "Incomplete Information," Working Papers 1124, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. GOSSNER, Olivier, 1997. "Secure protocols or how communication generates correlation," CORE Discussion Papers 1997092, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Ferreira J. -L. & Gilboa I. & Maschler M., 1995. "Credible Equilibria in Games with Utilities Changing during the Play," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 284-317, August.
  9. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L & Kalai, Ehud, 1991. "Observable Contracts: Strategic Delegation and Cooperation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 551-59, August.
  10. Ehud Lehrer & Sylvain Sorin, 1994. "One-Shot Public Mediated Talk," Discussion Papers 1108, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Ben-Porath, Elchanan, 1998. "Correlation without Mediation: Expanding the Set of Equilibrium Outcomes by "Cheap" Pre-play Procedures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 108-122, May.
  12. Gossner, Olivier, 1998. "Secure Protocols or How Communication Generates Correlation," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6244, Paris Dauphine University.
  13. Chaim Fershtman & Ehud Kalai, 1993. "Unobserved Delegation," Discussion Papers 1043, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    • Fershtman, Chaim & Kalai, Ehud, 1997. "Unobserved Delegation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 763-74, November.
  14. Aumann, Robert J, 1987. "Correlated Equilibrium as an Expression of Bayesian Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, January.
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  16. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
  17. Harsanyi, John C., 1994. "Games with Incomplete Information," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
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Cited by:
  1. Renou, Ludovic, 2009. "Commitment games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 488-505, May.
  2. James W. Bono & David H. Wolpert, 2009. "Game Mining: How to Make Money from those about to Play a Game," Working Papers 2009-10, American University, Department of Economics.

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