Sam Kapon [CV]

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University

Research Fields: Microeconomic theory, Experimental economics

Contact me at [kapon@nyu.edu]

I am on the 2022/23 job market.

Job Market Paper

Persuasion in Evidentiary Mechanisms

Abstract

A primary method of collecting evidence against a group of misbehaving agents (e.g., a cartel) is to offer whistleblower rewards to agents who come forward with evidence. But even before a whistleblower comes forward, the regulator typically possesses her own private evidence, though it may not guarantee conviction in court. This paper studies how revealing this private evidence to group members can facilitate whistleblowing. The more damning the regulator's evidence, the more incentivized, all else equal, a whistleblower is to come forward. I formalize this environment using information design in games. A principal (sender) informs two agents (receivers), about a state (the evidence state) that affects the payoffs to whistleblowing. I first ask, if agents can communicate amongst themselves, can the principal improve over public communication with the group? I answer the question in the affirmative, and provide conditions under which the principal's value is independent of whether agents can communicate or not. Second, interpreting the evidence state as the probability of conviction without a whistleblower, I characterize optimal outcomes and show that the likelihood of whistleblowing is increasing in this probability. I show that the principal can facilitate more whistleblowing in groups with more asymmetrically distributed gains from misbehavior across agents. Finally, I show that there are simple information structures that, though potentially sub-optimal, robustly improve over public communication.

Published and Accepted Papers

Dynamic Amnesty Programs [online appendix]
American Economic Review, 2022

Prior-Free Dynamic Allocation Under Limited Liability
with Sylvain Chassang, Theoretical Economics, 2022

Working Papers and Work in Progress

Using Divide and Conquer to Improve Tax Collection [supplementary materials]
with Sylvain Chassang and Lucia Del Carpio

Hard and Soft Information in Repeated Interaction: An Experiment
with Guillaume Fréchette

Working Memory and Cooperation
with Guillaume Fréchette and Emanuel Vespa

Transparency in Delegated Decision-Making
with Paula Onuchic