## Working Papers

The state of the world has two (possibly correlated) binary components, (θ1,θ2), θi belongs to {0,1}. Before taking an action, an agent can search in two directions: for conclusive evidence of θ1=1 or θ2=1. I show that for any payoff function, the optimal strategy consists of two phases. In the special case where θ1+ θ2<=1, the agent searches for the most probably evidence during phase 1 (possibly changing the direction as the search progresses and his beliefs change) and completely ignores one of the state components during phase 2. When state (1,1) is possible, phase 1 rule is different. Sufficient conditions for positive length of phase 1 are given. Negative correlation between the state components increases the length of phase 1.

# Dynamic Choice of Information Sources (job market paper)

## July 4, 2020

We present a dynamic model that illustrates three forces that shape the effect of overconfidence (overprecision of consumed information) on the amount of collected information. The first force comes from overestimating the precision of the next consumed piece of information. The second force is related to overestimating the precision of already collected information. The third force reflects the discrepancy between how much information the agent expects to collect and how much information he actually collects in expectation. The first force pushes an overconfident agent to collect more information, while the second and the third forces work in the other direction.

# Implications of Overconfidence on Information Investment (joint with Marcelo A. Fernandez)

## Oct 22, 2017

Two agents sincerely exchange their best guesses about the state of the world infinitely many times. When each agent places a small positive probability on the event that her opponent is of some finite level of reasoning and initial disagreement is large enough (that is, private signals are strong and different), permanent and large disagreement is possible even for infinitely sophisticated agents.

# Disagreement Under Almost Common Knowledge of Rationality (joint with Emiliano Catonini)

## February 2, 2020

## Work in Progress

We study a model where a hider aims to prevent a seeker from learning sensitive information about her. The hider can pre-commit to ex ante level of protection for sensitive information. We show that when full protection of sensitive information is not feasible, the hider may optimally choose to hide sensitive information in plain sight, that is, protect it less than non-sensitive information, in hope that the seeker would quickly give up the search for the hider's information because he would think that, had there been anything sensitive to uncover, he would have found it already. The optimal protection level for sensitive information is increasing in the exogenous protection level for non-sensitive information, thus making these two types of protection complementary.

# Privacy Protection: When Does Hiding in Plain Sight Work? (joint with Arina Nikandrova)

## Archive

Theoretical paper DeMarzo, Vayanos, and Zwiebel (2003) proposes a model of information aggregation in networks when individuals are subject to persuasion bias. The term "persuasion bias" refers to a particular form of boundedly rational behavior when individuals connected into a network do not account for repetition in the information they acquire. We argue that under the assumption that agents form their beliefs as a weighted average of all information available to them, the persuasion bias assumption is equivalent to a generalized version of the famous DeGroot model (DeGroot (1974)). We test the persuasion bias hypothesis against the (generalized) Bayesian updating model and find support for the persuasion bias hypothesis. We also found a positive correlation between how well a subject fits the generalized DeGroot model, compared to the alternative generalized Bayesian updating model, and their performance in the experiment. Data suggest that the generalized DeGroot model better accommodates other subjects' deviations from equilibrium, which explains the positive correlation.

# Are People Subject to Persuasion Bias? Test of DeGroot Model (joint with Li Song)

## Sept 27, 2017

Many experiments demonstrate that an individual's choice decisions are inconsistent. Following Luce (1959) and Block, Marschak, et al. (1960), a random choice approach to this problem has become very popular. It posits the existence of a probabilistic choice function that describes the probability of choosing an alternative from a given set of options. This paper contributes to the theoretical literature that narrows the class of random choice functions. Each alternative can be fully characterized by a vector in a n-dimensional space. A decision maker pays attention only to a randomly chosen subset of coordinates (or criteria) each time he faces a set of alternatives to choose from. Given this randomly chosen subset, he is perfectly rational, that is he chooses according to some strict preference ordering. For this procedure to be well-defined, the preference ordering must be separable with respect to criteria. In other words, the preference of the decision maker over any two alternatives should not depend on the characteristics that these alternatives have in common. This paper characterizes all systems of choice probabilities that are induced by this choice procedure.