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Contracts for Experts with Opposing Interests

Author

Listed:
  • Tymofiy Mylovanov

    (Penn State University)

  • Andriy Zapechelnyuk

    () (University of Bonn and KSE-KEI)

Abstract

We study the problem of optimal contract design in an environment with an uninformed decision maker and two perfectly informed experts. We characterize optimal contracts and observe that consulting two experts rather than one is always beneficial; this is so even if the bias of a second expert is arbitrary large and this expert would have no value in a cheap talk environment. We also provide conditions under which these contracts implement the first best outcome; our sufficient condition is weaker than the conditions in the literature on the environments without commitment. In order to derive optimal contracts, we prove a Òconstant-threatÓ result that states that one can restrict attention to contracts in which the action implemented in case of a disagreement among the experts is independent of their reports. A particular implication of this result is that an optimal contract is constant for a large set of expertsÕ preferences and hence is robust to mistakes in their specification.

Suggested Citation

  • Tymofiy Mylovanov & Andriy Zapechelnyuk, 2008. "Contracts for Experts with Opposing Interests," Discussion Papers 5, Kyiv School of Economics, revised Feb 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:kse:dpaper:5
    Note: Under review in RAND Journal of Economics
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.kse.org.ua/pdf/KSE_dp5.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, February 2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini, 2002. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1379-1401, July.
    2. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775.
    3. Ambrus, Attila & Takahashi, Satoru, 2008. "Multi-sender cheap talk with restricted state spaces," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 3(1), March.
    4. Austen-Smith David, 1993. "Interested Experts and Policy Advice: Multiple Referrals under Open Rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 3-43, January.
    5. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2007. "On the Limits of Communication in Multidimensional Cheap Talk: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 885-893, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    information; optimal contracts; experts; constant-threat principle;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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