“Peddling Influence through Intermediaries” by Wei Li
University of California, Riverside
Information may be transmitted from a sender to a decision maker through intermediaries. In this model, an objective sender or intermediary passes on information truthfully, while a biased one favors a particular agenda but also has reputational concerns. The biased sender and the biased intermediary's reporting truthfulness are shown to be strategic complements: they increase or decrease together. The biased sender is less likely to use an intermediary than an objective sender if his reputational concerns are low; but more likely to do so if his reputational concerns are high. Moreover, the biased sender may be more likely to use an intermediary perceived to be more biased.