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Anonymity, Equal Treatment, and Overconfidence: Constraints on Communication May Enhance Information Transmission

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  • Kohei Kawamura

Abstract

This paper offers a simple but rich framework to study communication subject to various constraints such as anonymity requirements, equal treatment of multiple agents, overconfidence of an expert, and garbling, by extending the cheap talk model of Crawford and Sobel (1982). Common to these seemingly distinct types of constraints in communication is that the action by a decision maker is less sensitive to a message than without such constraints. Reduced sensitivity can alter the structure of informative equilibria dramatically, and leads to a type of informational distortion, termed incentives to exaggerate, which differs qualitatively from the well-known incentives to overstate/understate. We demonstrate that the two different types of distortion may partly offset each other, so the introduction of the costraints may be beneficial when the level to conflict between communicating parties is large. Our model can also be applied to study communication in public good provision where equal treatment is often implicitly assumed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohei Kawamura, 2006. "Anonymity, Equal Treatment, and Overconfidence: Constraints on Communication May Enhance Information Transmission," Economics Series Working Papers 268, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:268
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper268.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1984. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-193, July.
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    3. Gervais, Simon & Odean, Terrance, 2001. "Learning to be Overconfident," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
    4. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775.
    5. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601.
    6. Kent Daniel & David Hirshleifer & Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, 1998. "Investor Psychology and Security Market Under- and Overreactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1839-1885, December.
    7. Wolinsky, Asher, 2002. "Eliciting information from multiple experts," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 141-160, October.
    8. Forges, Francoise M, 1986. "An Approach to Communication Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1375-1385, November.
    9. Myerson, Roger B, 1986. "Multistage Games with Communication," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 323-358, March.
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    11. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
    12. Jose A. Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2003. "Overconfidence and Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1183-1219, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wei Li, 2010. "Peddling Influence through Intermediaries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1136-1162, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cheap Talk; Anonymity; Overconfidence; Equal Treatment; Public Good Provision; Noisy Communication; Exaggeration;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • 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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