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The wrong kind of transparency

  • Andrea Prat

In a model of career concerns for experts, when is the principal hurt from observing more information about her agent? This paper introduces a distinction between information on the consequence of the agent's action and information directly on the agent's action. It is the latter kind that can hurt the principal by engendering conformism, which worsens both discipline and sorting. The paper identifies a necessary and sufficient condition on the agent signal structure under which transparency on action is detrimental to the principal. The paper also shows the existence of complementarities between transparency on action and transparency on consequence. The results are used to interpret existing disclosure policies in politics, corporate governance, and delegated portfolio management.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3679/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 3679.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3679
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  20. Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Valimaki, 2002. "Bad Reputation," Discussion Papers 1348, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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