Persuading the Principal to Wait

Dmitry Orlov, Andrzej Skrzypacz, Andrzej Skrzypacz, Pavel Zryumov   - Mar 15, 2017

We study strategic communication of verifiable information in a dynamic setting. The principal chooses when to exercise a real option. The agent affects the timing of option exercise by collecting and revealing additional information to the principal over time. When the agent favors late exercise relative to the principal and the conflict of interest is small, all information is disclosed discretely but with a delay. The principal exercises the option at the agent’s preferred threshold. When the conflict is large, the agent “pipets” information over time. Credible threat of option exercise is crucial for incentives to provide new information. When the agent favors early exercise, his lack of commitment not to persuade in the future leads to unraveling; in equilibrium all information is disclosed immediately. In sharp contrast to static environments, the ability to persuade might hurt the agent.

real options Bayesian persuasion continuous time games