"Helpful laymen in informational cascades," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, August 2015, volume 116, pages 407-415
Abstract: This paper extends Bikhchandani, Hirshleifer and Welch’s informational cascade model by introducing two types of players: experts with high signal accuracy and laymen with low signal accuracy. If a small enough fraction of laymen are present in the population, the probability of having a correct cascade is strictly higher than if no laymen are present. This is because the presence of laymen makes experts less eager to follow suit, which increases the amount of private information revealed.
"Benefits from non-competing persuaders," November 2017
Abstract: This paper shows that biased persuaders can provide better information to a decision maker due to cooperative, and not competitive, motives. I study Bayesian persuasion games with persuaders who all want a decision maker to take the same action unconditionally. While the optimal information policy from a unique persuader never benefits the decision maker, I show that this is not the case when there are multiple identical persuaders. Despite the fact that all persuaders share a common goal, there always exist strict equilibria in which they endogenously design highly informative policies that benefit the decision maker. The benefit of an additional non-competing persuader is as high as the value difference between full information and no information. The persuaders’ motivation to provide extra information is cooperative; the extra information helps offset their colleagues’ potential negative news. Consequently, a highly informative equilibrium not only benefits the decision maker, but also can result in a high payoff for the persuaders. In particular, when the persuaders’ information is intrinsically imperfect, their payoff can be maximized in an equilibrium with highly revealing information policies.
"The false promise of becoming a better person"
Abstract: This paper discusses a situation in which one's consumption of a harmful tempting good (e.g., cigarettes, heroin) is affected by one's friend. Using Gul and Pesendorfer's temptation framework, I assume that having an addict as a friend makes the good more tempting. In this setting, I discuss the strategic interaction between players when they can endogenously choose friends. I show that there exist equilibria in which a player chooses a low consumption level in order to win the friendship of another. However, none of these equilibria are subgame perfect.