Speaker: Dr Francisco Silva
Affiliation: Deakin University
Location: Room S402, Social Sciences Building (#24)


We study the limits of biased intermediated communication between a sender and a receiver of information. We prove that the information that can be transmitted from the sender to the receiver is exactly the same as with direct (non-mediated) communication, provided there are (at least) two intermediators who do not communicate with each other. In that sense, the sender is not harmed by not being able to communicate with the receiver directly. We discuss the implications of our results to a related information design problem, where a decision maker designs the statistical experiment to be performed by a possibly biased agent. We show that, if the decision maker is able to manipulate the data without causing any statistical loss, the decision maker is able to implement her preferred statistical experiment despite the agent being biased. If, however, manipulating the data has a statistical cost, then strategies that appear to reduce the overall informativeness of the experiment (like reducing the sample) might actually be (second-best) optimal for the decision maker, because they may require less costly manipulation in order to dissuade biased agents from misreporting. We discuss these ideas in the context of medical research.

About the presenter:

If you would like to meet with Dr Silva, contact Dr Allan Hernandez Chanto

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The School of Economics General Seminar Series is held on Fridays. These are in-person and presented by a range of guest researchers from around Australia and internationally.

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Social Sciences Building (#24)