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What Have you Done for me Lately? Release of Information and Strategic Manipulation of Memories

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  • Yianis Sarafidis

Abstract

How should a rational agent (politician/employee/advertiser) release information in order to manipulate the memory imperfections of his forgetful assessor (electorate/supervisor/consumer)? This article attempts to answer this question using a memory model based on the principles of recency, similarity and repetition. I show that the problem of a rational agent who releases information to a forgetful assessor can be modelled as a standard dynamic optimisation problem and we describe the properties of the optimal profile for releasing information. The theoretical results are applicable in a wide range of social and economic contexts, such as political campaigns, employee performance evaluations and advertising strategies. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Yianis Sarafidis, 2007. "What Have you Done for me Lately? Release of Information and Strategic Manipulation of Memories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 307-326, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:518:p:307-326
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard A., 2009. "Markets for Reputation: Evidence on Quality and Quantity in Academe," IZA Discussion Papers 4610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Javier Rivas, 2016. "Private agenda and re-election incentives," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(4), pages 899-915, April.
    3. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2009. "Policymakers' horizon and the sustainability of international cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 549-558, April.
    4. Page, Lionel & Page, Katie, 2010. "Last shall be first: A field study of biases in sequential performance evaluation on the Idol series," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 186-198, February.
    5. Yingcheng Xu & Li Wang & Bo Xu & Wei Jiang & Chaoqun Deng & Fang Ji & Xiaobo Xu, 0. "An information integration and transmission model of multi-source data for product quality and safety," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-22.
    6. Bouton, Laurent & Conconi, Paola & Pino, Francisco & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2013. "Guns and Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 9726, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and votes," Working Papers 43819146, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and Votes," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-39, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Guns and Votes," NBER Working Papers 20253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Koster, Paul & Peer, Stefanie & Dekker, Thijs, 2015. "Memory, expectation formation and scheduling choices," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 256-265.
    8. Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan & Landa, Dimitri, 2015. "Political accountability and sequential policymaking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 95-108.
    9. repec:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:401-416 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Hillary N. Morgan & Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2014. "The Harder The Task, The Higher The Score: Findings Of A Difficulty Bias," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1014-1026, July.

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