Title

Relying on the Information of Interested Parties

Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Date

5-1-1985

CFDP Number

749

CFDP Pages

35

Abstract

We investigate the conventional wisdom that competition among interested parties attempting to influence a decision maker by providing verifiable information brings out all the relevant information. We find that, if the decision maker is strategically sophisticated and well informed about the relevant variables and about the preferences of the interested party or parties, competition may be unnecessary; while if the decision maker is unsophisticated or not well informed, competition is not generally sufficient. However, if the interested parties’ interests are sufficiently opposed, or if the decision maker is seeking to advance the parties’ decision maker’s need for prior knowledge about the relevant variables and for strategic sophistication. In other settings, only the combination of competition among information providers and a sophisticated skepticism is sufficient to allow defective decision making.

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