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Strategic Investment and Learning with Private Information

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  • Nicolas KLEIN
  • Peter WAGNER

Abstract

We study a two-player game of strategic experimentation in which agents choose the timing of investments which yield uncertain returns over time. Agents learn about future returns through privately observed signals, others' investment decisions and from public experimentation outcomes when returns are realized. We characterize symmetric equilibria, and we relate the extent of strategic delay of investments in equilibrium to the primitives of the information structure. Agents invest without delay when the most optimistic intermediate belief exceeds a threshold. Otherwise, delay in investments induces a negative learning feed-back which may either escalate or dampen beliefs and investment choices. We highlight how private information in strategic experimentation can increase ex ante welfare because of strategic uncertainty and due to an "encouragement effect of private information".

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas KLEIN & Peter WAGNER, 2018. "Strategic Investment and Learning with Private Information," Cahiers de recherche 13-2018, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:13-2018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Decamps, Jean-Paul & Mariotti, Thomas, 2004. "Investment timing and learning externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 80-102, September.
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