We study the effects of transparency on information transmission and decision making theoretically and experimentally. We develop a model in which a decision maker seeks advice from a better-informed adviser whose advice might be swayed by financial incentives. Transparency enables the decision maker to learn whether or not the adviser accepted such an incentive, for example from an “interested” third party. Prior theoretical and experimental research mostly found that transparency is ineffective or harmful to decision makers. Our model predicts that transparency is never harmful and, depending on equilibrium selection, may improve the accuracy of decision makers. In our experiment transparency does indeed improve accuracy, especially if it is mandatory.
Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)
- 502027 Politische Ökonomie
- 502024 Öffentliche Wirtschaft