Information Gathering, Disclosure and Contracting in Competitive Markets
The paper studies the determinants of information gathering in insurance and credit markets. In our set-up, information may have either operational or strategic value, e.g. it may improve allocative decisions or allow agents to appropriate a larger share of gains from trade at the contracting stage. The timing of information gathering is endogenous and agents can gather information either before or after contracting. Access to precontractual information generates a negative contracting externality, which was first identified in Hirshleifer.s (1971) seminal contribution. In contrast with a well established conventional wisdom and a substantial literature, we prove that, if the operational value of information is positive and not "too small", private returns of information fall short of its social returns, and pre-contractual access to information leads to under-investment . On the contrary, agents over-invest in information gathering activities, when the operational value of the available signals is sufficiently low. Consistently with contractual arrangements observed in the real world, we also show that equilibrium contracts have also a very simple shape when private information can be voluntarily disclosed.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +39 081 - 675372
Fax: +39 081 - 675372
Web page: http://www.csef.it/Email:
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nicola Persico, 1997.
"Information Acquisition in Auctions,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
762, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Compte, Olivier & Jehiel, Philippe, 2008. "Gathering information before signing a contract: A screening perspective," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 206-212, January.
- Athey, Susan, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," Scholarly Articles 3372263, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2002.
"Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design,"
Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1007-1033, May.
- Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Vaimaki, 2000. "Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1248, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:190. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lia Ambrosio)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.