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Conversations Among Competitors

  • Jeremy C. Stein

I develop a model of bilateral conversations in which players may honestly exchange ideas with their competitors. The key to incentive compatibility is a strong form of complementarity in the information structure: a player can only generate a useful new insight on a given topic if he has access to his counterpart's previous thoughts on the topic. I then embed this model into a linear social network in which player A first can have a conversation with player B, then player B can have a conversation with player C, and so on. I show that relatively underdeveloped ideas can travel long distances over the network and thus be shared by many agents. More valuable ideas, by contrast, tend to remain localized among small groups of agents.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13370.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13370.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Publication status: published as Jeremy C. Stein, 2008. "Conversations among Competitors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2150-62, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13370
Note: CF
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  1. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2004. "The art of conversation: eliciting information from experts through multi-stage communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 147-179, August.
  3. Fudenberg, Drew & Ellison, Glenn, 1995. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196300, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Modes of Communication," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1217-1238, December.
  5. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Jeremy C. Stein, 2005. "Thy Neighbor's Portfolio: Word-of-Mouth Effects in the Holdings and Trades of Money Managers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2801-2824, December.
  6. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  7. Lauren Cohen & Andrea Frazzini & Christopher Malloy, 2007. "The Small World of Investing: Board Connections and Mutual Fund Returns," NBER Working Papers 13121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Paolo Colla & Antonio Mele, 2010. "Information Linkages and Correlated Trading," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 203-246, January.
  9. Hellmann, Thomas F & Perotti, Enrico C, 2006. "The Circulation of Ideas: Firms Versus Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5469, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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