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Communication Breakdown: Consultation or Delegation from an Expert with Uncertain Bias


  • Rush Anthony

    () (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Smirnov Vladimir

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Wait Andrew

    () (University of Sydney)


When communicating with an uninformed decision maker, the motives behind an expert's message are often unclear. To explore this and investigate its impact on organizational design, we extend the cheap-talk model of Crawford and Sobel (1982) to allow for uncertainty over the expert's bias. We find that, in contrast to Dessein (2002), it is possible that the decision maker prefers communication to delegation; that is, it can be optimal for a decision maker to retain control and to solicit advice from the expert.

Suggested Citation

  • Rush Anthony & Smirnov Vladimir & Wait Andrew, 2010. "Communication Breakdown: Consultation or Delegation from an Expert with Uncertain Bias," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-29, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003. " An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
    2. Li, Ming & Madarász, Kristóf, 2008. "When mandatory disclosure hurts: Expert advice and conflicting interests," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 47-74, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Dominguez Martinez & Randolph Sloof, 2016. "Communication versus (Restricted) Delegation: An Experimental Comparison," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-050/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS

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