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Broadcasting Opinions with an Overconfident Sender

Anat R. Admati, Paul Pfleider
International Economic Review
May, 2004
Vol 45, Issue 2, Pages 467-498

We analyze a model where an altruistic, but possibly overconfident sender broadcasts one of a finite set of messages to rational receivers. If broadcasting is costless and the sender is rational, there is an informationally efficient equilibrium, but multiple equilibria may arise, and asymmetric equilibria might be more informative than the symmetric equilibrium even if the prior is symmetric. Although overconfidence on the part of the sender reduces informativeness in some cases, it may also eliminate less informative equilibria and lead to better information transmission. Overconfidence can also improve the informativeness of the message when broadcasting is costly.