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Bayesian Persuasion

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  • Emir Kamenica
  • Matthew Gentzkow

Abstract

When is it possible for one person to persuade another to change her action? We take a mechanism design approach to this question. Taking preferences and initial beliefs as given, we introduce the notion of a persuasion mechanism: a game between Sender and Receiver defined by an information structure and a message technology. We derive necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of a persuasion mechanism that strictly benefits Sender. We characterize the optimal mechanism. Finally, we analyze several examples that illustrate the applicability of our results.

Suggested Citation

  • Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2009. "Bayesian Persuasion," NBER Working Papers 15540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15540
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising

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