Overconfidence in a Career-Concerns Setting
We study the effects of overconfidence in a two-period investment-decision agency setting. Under common priors, agent risk aversion implies inefficiently low first-period investment. In our model, principal and agent disagree about the profitability of the investment decision conditional on a given public signal. An overconfident agent believes that the principal will update her beliefs upwards more often than not. As a consequence, the agent overestimates the benefits of learning from first-period investment. This implies that agent overconfidence mitigates the agency problems arising from the agent’s career concerns, even though an overconfident agent bears more project and reputational risk in equilibrium.
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