I am a postdoctoral fellow at briq, and starting Fall 2021 I will join University of Bonn.
My research interests are in microeconomic theory and behavioral economics.

Working papers

Why wouldn't a firm gather and use all information about worker performance?

PDF Dec 2019

We study a dynamic principal-agent setting in which both sides learn about the importance of effort. The quality of the agent’s output is not observed directly. Instead, the principal jointly designs an evaluation technology and a wage schedule. More precise performance evaluation reduces current agency costs but promotes learning, which is shown to increase future agency costs. As a result, the optimal evaluation technology is both imprecise and tough: a bad performance is always sanctioned, but a good one is not always recognized. We also study the case in which principal and agent have different priors, for instance because the agent has incorrect beliefs about his abilities. If the agent is overconfident, the principal uses a tough evaluation structure to preserve the agent’s profitable misperception. For an underconfident agent, by contrast, she either uses a fully informative evaluation in order to promote learning and eliminate costly underconfidence, or is lenient if learning is too costly.

  • Screening with Frames (with Denis Shishkin)

  • R&R at the Review of Economic Studies
    Extended Abstract published in EC '21: Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Conference on Economics and Computation

How can a principal use framing effects in extensive-form mechanisms?

PDF EC '21: Extended Abstract Apr 2019

We analyze screening with frame-dependent valuations. A monopolist principal designs an extensive-form decision problem with frames at each stage. This allows the firm to induce dynamic inconsistency and thereby reduce information rents. We show that the optimal extensive form has a simple three-stage structure and uses only the two highest frames (high-low-high). Some types buy in the first stage, while others continue the interaction and buy at the last stage. The principal offers unchosen decoy contracts. Sophisticated consumers correctly anticipate that if they deviated, they would choose a decoy, which they want to avoid in a lower frame. This eliminates incentive compatibility constraints into types who don’t buy in the first stage. With naive consumers, the principal can perfectly screen by cognitive type and extract full surplus from naifs.

How to price discriminate when agents differ in their payoff-type and their influence on a global externality?

PDF Mar 2021

We propose a tractable framework to introduce externalities in a screening model. Agents differ in both payoff-type and influence (how strongly their actions affect others). Applications range from pricing network goods to regulating industries that create externalities. Inefficiencies arise only if payoff-types are unobservable. When both dimensions are unobserved, the optimal allocation satisfies lexicographic monotonicity: increasing along the payoff-type to satisfy IC, but tilted towards influential agents to produce the externality. A two-step ironing procedure addresses the nonmonotonicity in virtual values specific to our setting. If observable, influence is used as a signal of the payoff-type and may create rents.

  • Acquisition, (Mis)use and Dissemination of Information: The Blessing of Cursedness and Transparency (with Elia Sartori)

How does inferential naivete affect information acquisition, information use, and information dissemination?

Draft coming soon!

This paper studies strategic interactions where players observe statistics of others' actions, focusing on: First, the endogeneity of the precision of such aggregate information as signals of the fundamental; and second, agents' well-documented difficulty in making inference based on such signals. We conduct our analysis in a beauty contest game with information acquisition, adapting cursed equilibrium to model agents limited ability to process aggregative information. To discipline information acquisition choices in this setting with incorrect information use, we define a novel notion of cursed expectations equilibrium with information acquisition: Agents assess the value of private information according to a subjective envelope condition, as they correctly anticipate their actions and (incorrectly) deem them optimal. We show that there is inefficiently low acquisition and use of private information in the rational benchmark due to an information dissemination externality. Despite suboptimal use, cursed agents rely more heavily on their private information which pushes information acquisition towards its efficient level and causes an initial increase in welfare.Transparency crowds out private information but always increases the endogenous precision of the aggregative signal and welfare, while other policy instruments can have paradoxical effects due to their interaction with cursedness. Finally, we explore the behavior and welfare of an atomistic rational agent playing against a cursed crowd and demonstrate that transparency may be an elitist policy.

Publications