Acquisition, (Mis)use and Dissemination of Information: The Blessing of Cursedness and Transparency

Mer, 29/09/2021 - 12:00 / 13:00

210, Viale Romania

Speaker: Elia Sartori , Università di Napoli Federico II

Co-author: Franz Ostrizek (University of Bonn)


This paper studies strategic interactions where players observe statistics of others’ actions, focusing on: First, the endogeneity of the precision of such aggregate information as signals of the fundamental; and second, agents’ well-documented difficulty in making inference based on such signals. We conduct our analysis in a beauty contest game with information acquisition, adapting cursed equilibrium to model agents’ limited ability to process aggregative information. To discipline information acquisition in a setting with incorrect information use, we define a novel notion of cursed expectations equilibrium with information acquisition: Agents assess the value of private information according to a subjective envelope condition, as they correctly anticipate their actions and (incorrectly) deem them optimal. We show that there is inefficiently low acquisition and use of private information in the rational benchmark due to an information dissemination externality. Despite suboptimal use, cursed agents rely more heavily on their private information which pushes information acquisition towards its efficient level and causes an initial increase in welfare (Cursedness is Bliss). Transparency crowds out private information but always increases the endogenous precision of the aggregative signal and welfare (Transparency is Bliss), while other policy instruments can have paradoxical effects due to their interaction with cursedness. Finally, we explore the behavior and welfare of an atomistic rational agent playing against a cursed crowd and demonstrate that transparency may be an elitist policy.

Further info regarding the paper at the following link: