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Pivotal Persuasion

26 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2015 Last revised: 14 Dec 2017

Jimmy Chan

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Seher Gupta

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Fei Li

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Yun Wang

Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University; University of Pittsburgh

Date Written: December 13, 2017

Abstract

We study a persuasion game between a sender and a group of voters. When the sender can access any information structure, he can always persuade the group to make his preferred decision. When the sender is restricted to using only minimal winning coalitions, he sends private and correlated signals to take advantage of the voters' heterogeneous preferences. The optimal persuasion structure in the latter case induces multiple winning coalitions for the sender's preferred action. Interestingly, some of the winning coalitions involve voters who are not the easiest to persuade. The insight from pivotal persuasion is then applied to understand (i) the use of non-monotone voting rules, and (ii) the benefit of private persuasion when voters' signals are independent.

Keywords: Bayesian Persuasion, Voting, Selective Communication, Private Persuasion, Multiple Winning Coalitions

JEL Classification: D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Chan, Jimmy and Gupta, Seher and Li, Fei and Wang, Yun, Pivotal Persuasion (December 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2688044 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2688044

Jimmy Chan

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ( email )

777 Guoding Road
Shanghai, Shanghai 200433
China

Seher Gupta

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10011
United States

Fei Li (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Yun Wang

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

4901 Wesley Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University ( email )

A 307, Economics Building
Xiamen, Fujian 10246
China

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