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On the value of persuasion by experts

Author

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  • Alonso, Ricardo
  • Câmara, Odilon

Abstract

We consider a persuasion model in which a sender influences the actions of a receiver by selecting an experiment (public signal) from a set of feasible experiments. We ask: does the sender benefit from becoming an expert — observing a private signal prior to her selection? We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for a sender to never gain by becoming informed. Our key condition (sequential redundancy) shows that the informativeness of public experiments can substitute for the sender's expertise. We then provide conditions for private information to strictly benefit or strictly hurt the sender. Expertise is beneficial when the sender values the ability to change her experimental choice according to her private information. When the sender does not gain from expertise, she is strictly hurt when different types cannot pool on an optimal experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Alonso, Ricardo & Câmara, Odilon, 2018. "On the value of persuasion by experts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 103-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:174:y:2018:i:c:p:103-123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2017.12.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1767-1797, November.
    2. Hedlund, Jonas, 2017. "Bayesian persuasion by a privately informed sender," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 229-268.
    3. Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2011. "Bayesian Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2590-2615, October.
    4. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2008. "Sequential decisions with tests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 663-678, July.
    5. Luis Rayo & Ilya Segal, 2010. "Optimal Information Disclosure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 949-987.
    6. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2012. "The optimal choice of pre-launch reviewer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1247-1260.
    7. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2007. "Influence through ignorance," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 931-947, December.
    8. Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
    9. Bergemann, Dirk & Morris, Stephen, 2016. "Bayes correlated equilibrium and the comparison of information structures in games," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), May.
    10. Alonso, Ricardo & Câmara, Odilon, 2016. "Bayesian persuasion with heterogeneous priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 672-706.
    11. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:632-655 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Eduardo Perez-Richet, 2014. "Interim Bayesian Persuasion: First Steps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 469-474, May.
    13. Alonso, Ricardo & Câmara, Odilon, 2016. "Political disagreement and information in elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 390-412.
    14. Alonso, Ricardo & Câmara, Odilon, 2016. "Political disagreement and information in elections," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68393, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hedlund, Jonas, 2014. "Bayesian signaling," Working Papers 0577, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information design; Bayesian persuasion; Experts;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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