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Peddling Influence through Intermediaries


  • Wei Li


A sender may communicate with a decision maker through intermediaries. In this model, an objective sender and intermediary pass on information truthfully, while biased ones favor a particular agenda but also have reputational concerns. I show that the biased sender and the biased intermediary's reporting truthfulness are strategic complements. The biased sender is less likely to use an intermediary than an objective sender if his reputational concerns are low, but more likely to do so if his reputational concerns are moderate. Moreover, the biased sender may be more likely to use an intermediary perceived to be more biased. (JEL D82, D83)

Suggested Citation

  • Wei Li, 2010. "Peddling Influence through Intermediaries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1136-1162, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:3:p:1136-62 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.1136

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Malueg, David A. & Tsutsui, Shunichi O., 1996. "Duopoly information exchange: The case of unknown slope," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 119-136.
    2. Li, Ming & Tymofiy Mylovanov, 2009. "Credibility for Sale: the Effect of Disclosure on Information Acquisition and Transmission," Working Papers 09008, Concordia University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2009.
    3. Kohei Kawamura, 2006. "Anonymity, Equal Treatment, and Overconfidence: Constraints on Communication May Enhance Information Transmission," Economics Series Working Papers 268, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Ivanov, Maxim, 2010. "Communication via a strategic mediator," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 869-884, March.
    5. Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-1134, December.
    6. Wei Li, 2007. "Changing One's Mind when the Facts Change: Incentives of Experts and the Design of Reporting Protocols," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1175-1194.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kolotilin, Anton & Li, Hao & Li, Wei, 2013. "Optimal limited authority for principal," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2344-2382.
    2. Ying Chen & Sidartha Gordon, 2015. "Information transmission in nested sender–receiver games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(3), pages 543-569, April.
    3. Inderst, Roman, 2015. "Regulating commissions in markets with advice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 137-141.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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