Research

Listed below are my projects, completed and preliminary. Click the paper title to see more details where available, including abstracts and all related links.



Working papers

[pdf] [BibTeX] [journal page]
Abstract: Sellers often have the power to censor the reviews of their products. We explore the effect of these censorship policies in markets where some consumers are unaware of possible censorship. We find that if the share of such “naive” consumers is not too large, then rational consumers treat any bad review that is revealed in equilibrium as good news about product quality. This makes bad reviews worth revealing and allows the seller to use them as a costly signal of his product's quality to rational consumers.

Media coverage: TASS (in Russian), Gazeta.ru (in Russian), Деловой Петербург/Business Petersburg (in Russian), Phys.org, Haptic.ro.
[pdf] [SSRN] [RePeC] [BibTeX]
An earlier draft was circulated under the title "Experts, Quacks and Fortune-Tellers: Dynamic Cheap Talk with Career Concerns".
Abstract: The paper studies a dynamic communication game in the presence of adverse selection and career concerns. A forecaster of privately known competence, who cares about his reputation, chooses the timing of the forecast regarding the outcome of some future event. We find that in all equilibria in a sufficiently general class earlier reports are more credible. Further, any report hurts the forecaster’s reputation in the short run, with later reports incurring larger penalties. The reputation of a silent forecaster, on the other hand, gradually improves over time.
[pdf] [arxiv] [RePEc]
Abstract: This paper explores a model of dynamic signaling without commitment. It is known that separating equilibria do not exist if the sender cannot commit to future costly actions, since no single action can have enough weight to be an effective signal. This paper, however, shows that informative and payoff-relevant signaling can occur even without commitment and without resorting to unreasonable off-path beliefs. Such signaling can only happen through attrition, when the weakest type mixes between revealing own type and pooling with the stronger types. The possibility of full information revelation in the limit hence depends crucially on the assumptions about the state space. We illustrate the results by exploring a model of dynamic price signaling and show that prices may be informative of product quality even if the seller cannot commit to future prices, with both high and low prices being able to signal high quality.
[pdf]
Abstract: This paper argues, in the context of targeted advertising, that receivers' rational inattention or ability to independently acquire information have a non-trivial impact on the sender's optimal disclosure strategy. In our model, a monopolist has an opportunity to launch an advertising campaign and chooses a targeting strategy -- which consumers to send its advertisement to. The consumers are uncertain about and heterogeneous in their valuations for the product, and are rationally inattentive in that they must incur a cost if they want to learn their true valuations. We discover that the firm generally prefers to target consumers who are either indifferent between ignoring and investigating the product, or between investigating and buying it unconditionally. If the firm is uncertain about the consumer appeal of its product, it targets these two disjoint groups of consumers simultaneously but may ignore all consumers in between.


Work in progress

Abstract: This paper studies strategic communication in the context of social learning. Product reviews are used by consumers to learn product quality, but in order to write a review, a consumer must be convinced to purchase the item first. When reviewers care about welfare of future consumers, this leads to a conflict: a reviewer today wants the future consumers to purchase the item even when this comes at a loss to them, so that more information is revealed for the consumers that come after. We show that due to this conflict, communication via reviews is inevitably noisy in this setting, regardless of whether the reviewers can commit to a communication strategy or have to resort to cheap talk. We further show that in the latter case, the communication must necessarily have the interval structure, meaning that the noise persists even when the conflict between the reviewers and future consumers vanishes.


Unpublished manuscripts

[pdf - June 2013]
Abstract: This paper looks into the question of optimal design of communication network within a company. The principal trade-off in managerial decisionmaking is often identified as adaptation to local environment versus coordination with other divisions within a firm. This trade-off creates a conflict of interests between managers of different departments and prevents them from communicating truthfully with each other. We explore different communication structures in order to optimize the communication process and find out that if the divisions differ sufficiently in size and the smaller division depends heavily on coordination then sequential communication with larger firm as leader is more preferable by the firm, while with divisions of similar sizes simultaneous communication yields better performance.