Journal Article

Strategic Communication with Lying Costs

Navin Kartik

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 76, issue 4, pages 1359-1395
Published in print October 2009 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00559.x
Strategic Communication with Lying Costs

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I study a model of strategic communication between an uninformed Receiver and an informed but upwardly biased Sender. The Sender bears a cost of lying, or more broadly, of misrepresenting his private information. The main results show that inflated language naturally arises in this environment, where the Sender (almost) always claims to be of a higher type than he would with complete information. Regardless of the intensity of lying cost, there is incomplete separation, with some pooling on the highest messages. The degree of language inflation and how much information is revealed depend upon the intensity of lying cost. The analysis delivers a framework to span a class of cheap-talk and verifiable disclosure games, unifying the polar predictions they make under large conflicts of interest. I use the model to discuss how the degree of manipulability of information can affect the trade-off between delegation and communication.

Keywords: D82

Journal Article.  20063 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainy

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