Alexander Jakobsen (Princeton)
25 January 2017 @ 12:00
“Dynamic (In)Consistency and the Value of Information”
This paper develops a revealed-preference model of information disclosure. One decision maker, DM1, ranks information sources (Blackwell experiments) knowing that a second decision maker, DM2, uses the information to select an act from a menu. Both decision makers are subjective expected utility maximizers but may differ in their preferences and/or beliefs. I assume the analyst observes, for each menu of acts, (i) a preference ordering over all Blackwell experiments (DM1’s preference for information), and (ii) for each signal, DM2’s choice from the menu. The main result is a representation theorem characterizing DM1’s value of information: the ex-ante expected utility associated with an experiment. The primitives of the model are sufficient to uniquely identify the tastes and beliefs of both DM1 and DM2, to establish that DM2 uses Bayes’ rule to update his beliefs, and to show that DM1 correctly anticipates the behavior of DM2. I also present simple conditions to test whether DM1 and DM2 share a common prior, common preferences, or both. Hence, examination of a decision maker’s informational choice provides a useful new method of revealed-preference analysis.