Seminari Theory-Experimental

James Tremewan

University of Vienna


Seminar 3 – 14:30


This experimental study investigates how allowing an adviser to send free text messages affects the rate at which they accept a conflict of interest and the degree to which they are trusted by the decision makers they are advising. The role of communication is studied in two scenarios, one where decision makers are aware of any conflict of interest, and one where they are not. Both transparency and the opportunity to send messages are effective in increasing the accuracy of decision making, but there is no additional benefit of both together. When sending a message is possible, doing so increases trust, whereas choosing not to send any message appears to signal dishonesty. Somewhat problematically, when there is transparency, messages sent to support a recommendation after accepting a conflict of interest are more effective than after rejecting the conflict of interest.

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