(UBS Pensions series 25) The Wrong Kind of Transparency
In a model of career concerns for experts, when is a 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. When the latter kind of information is available, the agent faces an incentive to disregard useful private signals and act according to how an able agent is expected to act a priori. This conformist behavior hurts the principal in two ways: the decision made by the agent is less likely to be the right one (discipline) and ex post it is more difficult to evaluate the agent's ability (sorting). The paper identifies a necessary and sufficient condition on the agent signal structure under which the principal bene.ts from committing not to observe the agent's action. The paper also shows the existence of strategic complementarities between information on action and information on consequence. The results on the distinction between action and consequence are then used to interpret existing disclosure policies in delegated portfolio management. In particular, they are consistent with hitherto puzzling evidence that mutual funds systematically overperform pension funds.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp498. 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: (The FMG Administration)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.