Hidden Talents: Partnerships with Pareto-Improving Private Information
Can the presence of private information in a transaction yield a Pareto-improvement over complete information? In this paper we show that the combination of multi-agent simultaneous signaling of private information, and the nature of the strategic interaction, can result in non-cooperative equilibria which are Pareto superior to the complete-information non-cooperative equilibrium. Our application involves two agents who become partners in the production of a product (or the undertaking of a project). The partnersï¿½ efforts are complementary and, in addition to its direct contribution to product quality, observable (but non-verifiable) effort serves as a signal for the unobservable component, talent; each partner is privately informed only about her own talent. Because the partners share the payoff from the project, each is tempted to shirk in providing effort. However, the need for each partner to signal the quality of the product to potential buyers serves as a credible commitment to provide greater effort. We find that this non-cooperative, simultaneous signaling need not be wasteful, and can actually be welfare-enhancing in the strongest sense: there is a portion of the parameter space wherein incomplete information is Pareto-improving relative to the complete-information non-cooperative outcome for all possible non-degenerate prior distributions over the private information. Therefore, the combination of simultaneous-move strategic interaction and incomplete information can lead to conditions wherein the ï¿½problemï¿½ of adverse selection actually mitigates the problem of moral hazard.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html|
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.:
- Bernard Caillaud and Benjamin Hermalin., 1991.
"The Use of an Agent in a Signalling Model,"
Economics Working Papers
91-183, University of California at Berkeley.
- George Akerlof, 1976. "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race and Other Woeful Tales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-617.
- Gilat Levy, 2004.
"Anti-herding and strategic consultation,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
541, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990.
"Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm,"
3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Steven A. Matthews & Leonard J. Mirman, 1981.
"Equilibrium Limit Pricing: The Effects of Private Information and Stochastic Demand,"
494, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Matthews, Steven A & Mirman, Leonard J, 1983. "Equilibrium Limit Pricing: The Effects of Private Information and Stochastic Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 981-996, July.
- Claude Fluet & Paolo G. Garella, 1999.
"Advertising and Prices as Signals of Quality in a Regime of Price Rivalry,"
Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM
9903, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
- Fluet, Claude & Garella, Paolo G., 2002. "Advertising and prices as signals of quality in a regime of price rivalry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 907-930, September.
- Hermalin, Benjamin E, 1998.
"Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1188-1206, December.
- Benjamin E. Hermalin, 1997. "Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example," Microeconomics 9612002, EconWPA.
- Ben Hermalin, 1996. "Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example," Working Papers _006, University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
- Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1989.
"Oligopoly Limit Pricing,"
829, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2005. "Profit Sharing and the Role of Professional Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 131-171.
- Martin, Stephen, 1995. "Oligopoly limit pricing: Strategic substitutes, strategic complements," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 41-65, March.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414.
- Heski Bar-Isaac, 2004. "Something to Prove: Reputation in teams and hiring to introduce uncertainty," Working Papers 04-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- George J. Mailath, 1989. "Simultaneous Signaling in an Oligopoly Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 417-427.
- Alan Morrison & William J. Wilhelm, Jr., 2003. "Partnership Firms, Reputation and Human Capital," OFRC Working Papers Series 2003fe02, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
- Das Varma, Gopal, 2003. "Bidding for a process innovation under alternative modes of competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 15-37, January.
- Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1987. "Oligopolistic Entry Deterrence under Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 211-231, Summer.
- Daughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1995.
"Product Safety: Liability, R&D, and Signaling,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1187-1206, December.
- Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1994. "Product Safety: Liability, R&D and Signaling," Game Theory and Information 9403007, EconWPA, revised 30 Mar 1994.
- Daughety, Andrew & Reinganum, Jennifer, 1992. "Product Safety: Liability, R & D and Signaling," Working Papers 94-17, University of Iowa, Department of Economics, revised 1994.
- Alan D. Morrison & William J. Wilhelm Jr, 2004. "Partnership Firms, Reputation, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1682-1692, December.
- Mailath, George J., 1988. "An abstract two-period game with simultaneous signaling--Existence of separating equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 373-394, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0613. 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: (John P. Conley)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.