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Accountability and Cheap Talk

  • Di Maggio, Marco

This paper analyzes a cheap talk model with heterogeneous receivers who are accountable for the correctness of their actions, showing that there exists a truth-revealing equilibrium. This sheds new light on the important role played by elections in shaping politicians' and, more surprisingly, advisor's behaviors in a cheap-talk setting. In deciding which message to send, the advisor is aware that he could use this message to affect the electoral outcome, the manipulation effect, or to shape the first period policy, the influence effect. When the first effect dominates the second there exists an informative equilibrium. In addition, I show that the presence of heterogeneous politicians leads to an increase in voters' welfare as a result of better-informed decisions. I allow the politician to delegate authority to the expert, showing that due to the signaling value of the politician's delegation decision, only corrupt or incompetent incumbents will delegate the second-period decision. Finally, I generalize the results in a number of different directions.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18652.

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Date of creation: 15 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18652
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  1. Olszewski, Wojciech, 2004. "Informal communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 180-200, August.
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  6. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Bureaucrats or Politicians? Part I: A Single Policy Task," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000870, David K. Levine.
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  21. Peter Sorensen & Marco Ottaviani, 2000. "Herd Behavior and Investment: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 695-704, June.
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  23. Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003. " An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
  24. Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjöström, 2006. "Strategic Ambiguity and Arms Proliferation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001247, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  29. Mathias Dewatripont, 2006. "Transferable control," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9649, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  39. Board, Oliver J. & Blume, Andreas & Kawamura, Kohei, 2007. "Noisy talk," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(4), December.
  40. Robert Dur & Otto H. Swank, 2003. "Producing and Manipulating Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 908, CESifo Group Munich.
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  42. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Cheap Talk and the Fed: A Theory of Imprecise Policy Announcements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 32-42, March.
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