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"Where Ignorance is Bliss, 'tis Folly to be Wise": Transparency in Contests

  • Denter, Philipp


  • Morgan, John


  • Sisak, Dana


Increasingly, lobbying groups are subject to transparency requirements, obliging them to provide detailed information about their business. We study the effect this transparency policy has on the nature of lobbying competition. Under mild conditions, mandated transparency leads to an increase in wastefulness of lobbying competition and a decline in expected allocative efficiency. Hence we identify a negative side-effect of transparency policy, which also has implications for various other fields such as political campaigning or firm competition.

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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1128.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:28
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  2. Kovenock, Dan & Morath, Florian & Münster, Johannes, 2010. "Information sharing in contests," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 334, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 1994. "An Analysis of the War of Attrition and the All-Pay Auction," Game Theory and Information 9409002, EconWPA.
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  7. Paul Milgrom, 2008. "What the Seller Won't Tell You: Persuasion and Disclosure in Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 115-131, Spring.
  8. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "Rigging The Lobbying Process: An Application Of The All- Pay Auction," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1002, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  9. Hurley, Terrance M. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Effort levels in a Cournot Nash contest with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 195-210, June.
  10. Nicola Persico, 2000. "Information Acquisition in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 135-148, January.
  11. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, 03.
  12. Carl Shapiro, 1986. "Exchange of Cost Information in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 433-446.
  13. Mathias Dewatripont & Eric Maskin, 1995. "Contractual contingencies and renegotiation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9609, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2008. "Communicating quality: a unified model of disclosure and signalling," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 973-989.
  15. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1007, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  16. Morgan, John, 2003. "Sequential Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 1-18, July.
  17. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
  18. Felix Várdy & John Morgan, 2005. "The Value of Commitment in Contests and Tournaments when Observation is Costly," Public Economics 0504005, EconWPA.
  19. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  20. Baik, Kyung H & Shogren, Jason F, 1992. "Strategic Behavior in Contests: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 359-62, March.
  21. Vives, Xavier, 1984. "Duopoly information equilibrium: Cournot and bertrand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 71-94, October.
  22. Péter Eső & Balázs Szentes, 2007. "Optimal Information Disclosure in Auctions and the Handicap Auction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 705-731.
  23. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf, 2002. "Corruption and Rent-Seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 97-125, October.
  24. Kolmar, Martin & Rommeswinkel, Hendrik, 2013. "Contests with group-specific public goods and complementarities in efforts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 9-22.
  25. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. "Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-30, March.
  26. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  27. Kyung Hwan Baik & Shogren, Jason F., 1995. "Contests with spying," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 441-451, September.
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  29. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1992. "Lobbying and Asymmetric Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 269-92, October.
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