- Information economics (Applied microeconomic theory)
- Organizational economics and industrial organization
- Political economy
Research - Working Papers
The Newsroom Dilemma joint with Federico Trombetta (Job Market Paper 1)
Conventional wisdom suggests that competition in the modern digital environment is pushing media outlets towards the early release of less accurate information. We show that this is not necessarily the case. We argue that two opposing forces determine the resolution of the speed-accuracy tradeoff: preemption and reputation. More competitive environments may be more conducive to reputation building. Therefore, it is possible to have better reporting in a more (Internet-driven) competitive world. However, we show that the audience may be worse off due to another consequence of the Internet -- outlets' better initial information. Finally, we show how a source may exploit the speed-accuracy tradeoff to get ``unverified facts'' out to the audience quickly.
Feedback on Ideas joint with Zeinab Aboutalebi (Job Market Paper 2)
Employees are often assigned tasks comprising two distinct phases: In the first phase, ideas are generated; in the second phase, the best idea is implemented. Furthermore, it is common for supervisors to give feedback to their employees during this process. This paper studies the supervisor's problem. Supervisors face the following tradeoff: while honest feedback encourages employees to discard bad ideas, it can also be demotivating. We obtain three main results. First, the supervisor only gives honest feedback to agents who believe in their ability to succeed. Second, receiving honest feedback leads such high self-opinion agents to exert more effort. Third, overconfidence is potentially welfare improving.
Optimal Innovation Time Off joint with Federico Trombetta [Preliminary draft]
We solve for the optimal delegation mechanism that grants an agent the authority to take time off from the current task to pursue his own creative endeavors. Driven by a high intrinsic motivation, the agent would like to get time off to pursue any idea he discovers. The principal, on the other hand, would like to offer the agent the time off only if she believes the agent has been able to come up with an idea that has a high potential to succeed. Using a simple two-period model we show that, in the optimal mechanism, the principal is inefficiently harsh on an agent who was initially provided the time off. This implies that an agent with a high potential idea might get only a limited chance to achieve the breakthrough. Creativity, therefore, only receives a limited opportunity.
Research - Work in progress
Optimal Intermediary Test Design joint with Zeinab Aboutalebi [Slides coming soon!]
We consider how a profit-maximizing intermediary designs, prices, and discloses tests to facilitate signaling between a sender and a receiver. Designing more difficult tests increases the willingness-to-pay of the more able senders, but reduces that of the less able senders. We show that the intermediary is not indifferent between different tests with the same informativeness. Notably, the intermediary designs the easiest test possible to convince the receiver of the sender's ability. Splitting a single test into many helps the intermediary extract a higher surplus from better senders by inducing more participation of the bad senders. The reason is two-fold. First, making the test easier induces senders of all types to take the test more often to prove their mettle. Second, the decline in prices (due to more tests) is less than the increase in the number of tests.
The Language of Conflict