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Essays on Strategic Information Transmission

Lai, Kong Wah (2009) Essays on Strategic Information Transmission. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation consists of three chapters, each analyzes a model of strategic information transmission - or cheap talk - between an expert and a decision maker. The first chapter, ``Expert Advice for Amateurs," analyzes a model in which the expert is perfectly informed and the decision maker partially informed. The decision maker can tell, privately, whether the state of the world is ``high" or ``low." The expert responds to this second layer of asymmetric information by providing less informative advice. For some types of decision maker, this negative, strategic effect outweighs the benefit of information - being informed makes them worse off. Information is always beneficial to the decision maker only when welfare is evaluated before the realization of his type.The second chapter, ``Challenged Authority," analyzes a model in which the expert is perfectly informed and the decision maker is of one of two types: uninformed or partially informed. The decision maker can reveal his private type to the expert before the expert communicates with him. The expert is susceptible to emotion: she becomes annoyed if she believes that her authority is challenged - when her access to information is not exclusive - and reacts to it by being less helpful to the decision maker. The expert's emotion affects communication. It can deter an informed decision maker from revealing himself, who otherwise would have done so to an emotion-free expert.The third chapter, ``Uncertain Expertise," analyzes a model in which the expert is imperfectly informed and the decision maker, uninformed, is also uncertain about how informed the expert is. The model, in which the expert's private type summarizes two aspects of her information status - her expertise and her information - can be transformed into a standard cheap-talk model with finite types. The equilibria of the former can be analyzed via those of the latter; the second-order imperfect information does not change the way in which strategic information transmission with imperfectly informed expert is analyzed. In a specialized information structure, it is found that an increase in the level of uncertainty over the expert's expertise makes communication more difficult.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lai, Kong Wahkwl8@pitt.eduKWL8
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBlume, Andreasablume@pitt.eduABLUME
Committee MemberVesterlund, Lisevester@pitt.eduVESTER
Committee MemberBoard, Oliverojboard@pitt.eduOJBOARD
Committee MemberLiang, Pierre
Date: 30 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 June 2009
Approval Date: 30 September 2009
Submission Date: 10 August 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amateurs; Authority; Cheap talk; Expert advice; Strategic information transmission; Uncertain Expertise
Other ID:, etd-08102009-012923
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:58
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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