A Theory of Advocates: Trading Advice for Inuence
An advocate for a special interest provides information to an uninformed planner for her to consider in making a sequence of important decisions. Although the advocate may have valuable information for the planner, it is is also known that the advocate is biased and will distort her advice if necessary to ináuence the plannerís decision. Each time she repeats the problem, however, the planner learns about the accuracy of the advocateís recommendation, mitigating some of the advocateís incentive to act in a self-serving manner. We propose a theory of advocacy to explain why planners do sometimes rely on information provided by advocates in making decisions. The interaction takes place in two stages, a cheap talk recommendation from the advocate, followed by decisions and learning by the planner. The theory predicts conditions under which an advocateís advice will be ignored and when it will ináuence a plannerís decision, when planners will prefer the advice of an advocate to the advice of a neutral adviser and, Önally, how an advocate gains ináuence with a decision maker by making his preferences for action unpredictable. Applications of our theory are used to explain why regulated enterprises are sometimes delegated authority to determine how they are monitored and why some consumers of Önancial services give Önancial advisors who beneÖt from their business such great latitude in managing their investments and Önances.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2010|
|Publication status:||Forthcoming: Working Paper|
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