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STICERD Economic Theory Seminars


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These seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 15:30-17:00 in room 32L 3.05 (3rd floor, 32 Lincolns Inn Fields, London), unless specified otherwise. 

Entry is on a first-come first-served basis. No registration is required but places are limited. 

Seminar organisers: Dr Andrew Ellis and Dr Francesco Nava

For further information please contact Annie-Rose Nicholas.

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Thursday  14 May 2020  15:30 - 17:00

Misinterpreting Social Outcomes and Information Campaigns

Aislinn Bohren (University of Pennsylvania) , joint with Daniel N. Hauser

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This paper explores learning in a setting with social perception biases. Individuals learn from others’ outcomes but have a misspecified model of their preferences. When individuals systematically overestimate the similarity between their own preferences and the preferences of others - exhibiting the false consensus effect - this can lead to incorrect learning, while when individuals systematically underestimate this similarity - exhibiting pluralistic ignorance -- this can prevent beliefs from converging. We explore how information campaigns - releasing (costly) information about the state - can counteract these inefficient choices. We show that the duration - temporary or permanent - and the target - correct inefficient action choices or reinforce efficient action choices - of the optimal information campaign depend crucially on the form of misspecification.


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Thursday  28 May 2020  15:30 - 17:00

Relational Contracts: Public versus Private Savings

Daniel Garrett (TSE) , joint with Francesc Dilme

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We study relational contracting with an agent who has consumption-smoothing preferences as well as the ability to save to defer consumption (or to borrow). Our focus is the comparison of principal-optimal relational contracts in two settings. The first where the agent’s consumption and savings decisions are private, and the second where these decisions are publicly observed. In the first case, the agent smooths his consumption over time, the agent’s effort and payments eventually decrease with time, and the balances on his savings account eventually increase. In the second, the agent consumes earlier than he would like, consumption and the balance on savings fall over time, and effort and payments to the agent increase. Our results suggest a possible explanation for low savings rates in certain industries where compensation often comes in the form of discretionary payments.


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Thursday  04 June 2020  15:30 - 17:00

A Double Revelation 'Principle' for Maxmin Auction Design

Ben Brooks (University of Chicago) , joint with Songzi Du

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Thursday  11 June 2020  15:30 - 17:00

Conventions and Coalitions in Repeated Games

Syed Nageeb Ali (Penn State University) , joint with Ce Liu

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Thursday  18 June 2020  15:30 - 17:00

Stochastically Quadratic

Collin Raymond (Oxford University) , joint with Chris Chambers and Yusufcan Masatlioglu

We provide a model of stochastic choice where the choice function is the outcome of an optimization procedure with respect to a quadratic loss function. Although choice probabilities are the result of deliberate randomization, our model is still a random utility model, thus combining two major approaches to stochastic choice. We show that the model is characterized by three simple axioms, and that parameters map to choice probabilities in a transparent fashion. Our model generalizes the Luce model, can accommodate many well known violations of strong stochastic transitivity, and unlike more general forms of random utility, it is uniquely identified.


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