Horizontal Reputation and Strategic Audience Management

52 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2015 Last revised: 23 Jan 2018

See all articles by Matthieu Bouvard

Matthieu Bouvard

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE); Toulouse School of Management

Raphaël Levy

HEC Paris

Date Written: October 1, 2017


We study how a decision maker uses his reputation to simultaneously influence the actions of multiple receivers with heterogenous biases. The reputational payoff is single-peaked around a bliss reputation at which the incentives of the average receiver are perfectly aligned. We evidence two equilibria characterized by repositioning towards this bliss reputation that only differ through a multiplier capturing the efficiency of reputational incentives. Repositioning is moderate in the more efficient equilibrium, but the less efficient equilibrium features overreactions, and welfare may then get lower than in the no-reputation case. Finally, we highlight how strategic audience management (e.g., delegation to third parties with dissenting objectives, centralization) alleviates inefficient reputational incentives, and how multiple organizational or institutional structures may arise in equilibrium as a result.

Keywords: Career Concerns, Multi-sided Reputation, Endogenous Audiences

JEL Classification: D8, L14

Suggested Citation

Bouvard, Matthieu and Levy, Raphaël, Horizontal Reputation and Strategic Audience Management (October 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2676045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2676045

Matthieu Bouvard

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042

Toulouse School of Management ( email )

2, rue du Doyen Gabriel Marty
Toulouse, 31042

Raphaël Levy (Contact Author)

HEC Paris ( email )

1 rue de la Liberation
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351

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