Evidence Acquisition and Voluntary Disclosure

40 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2021

See all articles by Denis Shishkin

Denis Shishkin

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: December 30, 2019

Abstract

A sender seeks hard evidence to persuade a receiver to take a certain action. There is uncertainty about whether the sender obtains evidence. If she does, she can choose to disclose it or pretend to not have obtained it. When the probability of obtaining information is low, we show that the optimal evidence structure is a binary certification: all it reveals is whether the (continuous) state of the world is above or below a certain threshold. Moreover, the set of low states that are concealed is non-monotone in the probability of obtaining evidence. When binary structures are optimal, higher uncertainty leads to less pooling at the bottom because the sender uses binary certification to commit to disclose evidence more often.

Keywords: hard evidence, persuasion, information design, information acquisition, voluntary disclosure

JEL Classification: D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Shishkin, Denis, Evidence Acquisition and Voluntary Disclosure (December 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3859317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3859317

Denis Shishkin (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

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