Delegation in a Cheap-Talk Game: A Voting Example
Suppose an agent is contemplating an action with state-contingent payoffs, and has a prior belief about the probability of the states. She hires an expert to update her priors before the action. Experts may be both informed as well as uninformed, and are not necessarily truthful. The question asked in this paper is when, if at all, is it better for the agent to assign the task of playing with experts and deciding on the action to another agent with a different set of priors. In particular, can an agent increase her payoff in a cheap-talk game by delegating to others to play on her behalf? This paper shows that such profitable delegation is possible and characterizes the agents to whom a given agent may delegate the responsibility. While this generic problem can arise in many contexts, we have chosen to model it in a simple voting situation where the electoral issue is whether a certain policy with contingent outcomes should or should not be implemented. Voters have different priors about probable states of the world, and hence their expected pay-offs from the policy vary. The elected decision-maker can use the institution of an advisor before deciding whether to implement the policy. We show that unless the median voter has very sure beliefs about the probable states, she would be better off getting someone else elected than herself as the decision-maker. In particular, if the median is predisposed to (against) the policy action, she would be better off choosing a candidate more (less) pro-action than herself. The optimal choice of the decision-maker is shown to depend on the cost of misdirected policy, i.e. of implementing it when it is actually unwarranted.
|Date of creation:||11 Aug 2004|
|Contact details of provider:|| Phone: 1 212 998 3820|
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1992. "The role of party reputation in the formation of policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-121, October.
- Stephen Morris, 2001.
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
- Stephen Morris, 1999. "Political Correctness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1242, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Roland Benabou & Guy Laroque, 1992. "Using Privileged Information to Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, and Credibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 921-958.
- Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1988. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus And Credibility," Papers 19, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
- Benabou, R. & Laroque, G., 1989. "Using Privileged Information To Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, And Credibility," Working papers 513, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Caillaud, B. & Tirole, J., 1999. "Party governance and ideological bias," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 779-789, April.
- Schultz, Christian, 2002. "Policy biases with voters' uncertainty about the economy and the government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 487-506, March.
- Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
- Joel Sobel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 557-573.
- Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-479, June.
- Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Martinelli, Cesar & Matsui, Akihiko, 2002. " Policy Reversals and Electoral Competition with Privately Informed Parties," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(1), pages 39-61.
- Cesar Martinelli & Akihiko Matsui, 2000. "Policy Reversals and Electoral Competition with Privately Informed Parties," Working Papers 0003, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM, revised Jul 2000.
- Martinelli, Cesar, 2001. "Elections with Privately Informed Parties and Voters," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 147-167, July.
- Bengt Holmstrom & Joan Ricart i Costa, 1986. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 835-860.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:471. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.