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Credibility for Sale: the Effect of Disclosure on Information Acquisition and Transmission

We study the effect of disclosure on information acquisition and transmission in a dynamic reputation model. In each period, to make a report to a client, an expert chooses between conducting a costly investigation or channeling a message from an interest group. We show that not disclosing the source of the expert's report may increase the frequency of investigation by the expert. Nevertheless, it decreases the quality of the clients' decisions. We demonstrate that, however, when the importance of decisions vary across time, when the interest groups are long-lived, or when the expert's clientele is growing in her reputation, nondisclosure may improve the quality of the clients' decisions.

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Paper provided by Concordia University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09008.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision: Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:09008
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  1. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  2. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Sorensen, 1999. "Professional Advice," Game Theory and Information 9906003, EconWPA.
  3. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2008. "Costly Expertise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 187-93, May.
  4. Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1988. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus And Credibility," Papers 19, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  5. Choi, Jay Pil, 2006. "Broadcast competition and advertising with free entry: Subscription vs. free-to-air," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 181-196, June.
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  7. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Sobel, Joel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 557-73, October.
  9. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
  10. Esther Gal-Or & Anthony Dukes, 2003. "Minimum Differentiation in Commercial Media Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 291-325, 09.
  11. 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.
  12. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
  13. Cripps,M.W. & Mailath,G.J. & Samuelson,L., 2002. "Imperfect monitoring and impermanent reputations," Working papers 17, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  15. Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Peitz, Martin & Valletti, Tommaso, 2004. "Content and Advertising in the Media: Pay-TV versus Free-To-Air," CEPR Discussion Papers 4771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. In-Uck Park, 2005. "Cheap-Talk Referrals of Differentiated Experts in Repeated Relationships," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 391-411, Summer.
  18. Christopher Phelan, 2001. "Public trust and government betrayal," Staff Report 283, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Matthew Ellman & Fabrizio Germano, 2004. "What do the papers sell?," Economics Working Papers 800, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2006.
  20. Bourjade, Sylvain & Jullien, Bruno, 2004. "Expertise and Bias in Decision Making," MPRA Paper 7251, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2007.
  21. Olszewski, Wojciech, 2004. "Informal communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 180-200, August.
  22. Wrasai, Phongthorn & Swank, Otto H., 2007. "Policy makers, advisers, and reputation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 579-590, April.
  23. Simon P. Anderson & John McLaren, 2012. "Media Mergers And Media Bias With Rational Consumers," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 831-859, 08.
  24. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  25. Jeong-Yoo Kim, 1996. "Cheap Talk and Reputation in Repeated Pretrial Negotiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 787-802, Winter.
  26. Beatriz Mariano, 2008. "Do reputational concerns lead to reliable ratings?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24433, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  27. ANDERSON, Simon P. & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J., 2005. "The media and advertising : a tale of two-sided markets," CORE Discussion Papers 2005088, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  28. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Laussel, Dider & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2001. "Press advertising and the ascent of the 'Pensee Unique'," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 641-651, May.
  30. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the Eonomics of Art and Culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152412, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  31. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Jean Tirole & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2006. "Two-Sided Markets : A Progress Report," Post-Print hal-00173715, HAL.
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