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Confidence and Competence in Communication


  • Kohei Kawamura



This paper studies information transmission between an uninformed decision maker (receiver) and an informed player (sender) who have asymmetric beliefs ("confidence") on the sender's ability ("competence") to observe the state of nature. We find that even when the material payoffs of are perfectly aligned, the sender's over- and underconfidence on his information give rise to information loss in communication, although they do not by themselves completely eliminate information transmission in equilibrium. However, an underconfident sender may prefer no communication to informative communication. We also show that when the sender is biased, overconfidence can lead to more information transmission and welfare improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohei Kawamura, 2013. "Confidence and Competence in Communication," ESE Discussion Papers 222, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:222

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yeon-Koo Che & Navin Kartik, 2009. "Opinions as Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 815-860, October.
    2. Cesarini, David & Sandewall, Orjan & Johannesson, Magnus, 2006. "Confidence interval estimation tasks and the economics of overconfidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 453-470, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Board, Oliver J. & Blume, Andreas & Kawamura, Kohei, 2007. "Noisy talk," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(4), December.
    5. Kent Daniel & David Hirshleifer & Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, 1998. "Investor Psychology and Security Market Under- and Overreactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1839-1885, December.
    6. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
    7. Fang, Hanming & Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2005. "Morale hazard," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 749-777, May.
    8. Kohei Kawamura, 2011. "A Model of Public Consultation: Why is Binary Communication so Common?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 819-842, June.
    9. Goltsman, Maria & Hörner, Johannes & Pavlov, Gregory & Squintani, Francesco, 2009. "Mediation, arbitration and negotiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1397-1420, July.
    10. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    11. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2004. "The art of conversation: eliciting information from experts through multi-stage communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 147-179, August.
    12. Anat R. Admati & Paul Pfleiderer, 2004. "Broadcasting Opinions with an Overconfident Sender," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 467-498, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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