DRAFT

Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Online Event
Persuasion with Correlation Neglect
Inés Moreno de Barreda, Associate Professor and Official Fellow, St. Peter's College, University of Oxford,

Abstract: We consider an information design problem in which a sender tries to persuade a receiver that has "correlation neglect", i.e., fails to understand that signals might be correlated. We highlight a tradeoff that emerges between the desire of the sender to sometimes use negative correlation while constraints imposed by Bayesian persuasion favour positive correlation. We illustrate this trade-off by showing that a sender whose utility increases in the posterior of the receiver will use positive correlation when the prior is against her interests, and will use negative correlation when the prior is in her favour. We then provide general results characterising the constraints on correlation imposed by Bayesian persuasion. Finally, we show that when the sender has a large number of signals at her disposal, she can achieve a utility close to her first best and can do so using full positive correlation.

Written with Gilat Levy and Ronny Razin. Professor Inés Moreno de Barreda will be joined by guests Ina Taneva and Itai Arieli.

How to view the seminar:
Sign up for a free twitch.tv account, and tune in on Wednesdays at noon pacific time on twitch.tv/caltechecontheory. You will be able to ask questions on the twitch chat.

For more information, please contact Letty Diaz by phone at 626-395-1255 or by email at letty.diaz@caltech.edu.