We thank John Matsusaka, Michael Riordan, Joel Sobel, Francesco Squintani, Jean Tirole, the editor, two anonymous referees, and seminar participants at Columbia University (Economics and Business School), Duke University, Hunter College, University of Michigan, University of Rochester, University of Washington, SUNY Buffalo, University of California–Los Angeles, University of California–Riverside, University of Southern California (Economics and Business School), University of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania State University for comments and suggestions.
Influence through ignorance
Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
The RAND Journal of Economics
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 931–947, Winter 2007
How to Cite
Brocas, I. and Carrillo, J. D. (2007), Influence through ignorance. The RAND Journal of Economics, 38: 931–947. doi: 10.1111/j.0741-6261.2007.00119.x
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
An individual (the leader) with free access to information decides how much public evidence to collect. Conditional on this information, another individual with conflicting preferences (the follower) undertakes an action that affects the payoff of both players. In this game of incomplete but symmetric information, we characterize the rents obtained by the leader as a result of his control of the generation of public information. These rents capture the degree of influence exerted by a chairman on a committee from his capacity to keep discussions alive or call a vote. Similar insights are obtained if the leader decides first how much private information he collects, and then how much verifiable information he transmits to the follower.