Strategic Ignorance and Information Design

45 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2022 Last revised: 28 Mar 2023

See all articles by Ina Taneva

Ina Taneva

University of Edinburgh

Thomas Wiseman

University of Texas at Austin

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 31, 2021


We study information design in strategic settings when agents can publicly commit
to not view their private signals. Ignoring the constraints that agents must be willing
to view their signals may lead to substantial divergence between the designer’s
intent and actual outcomes, even in the case where the designer seeks to maximize
the agents' payoffs. We introduce the approprite equilibrium concept — robust correlated
equilibrium — and characterize implementable distributions over states and
actions. Requiring robustness to strategic ignorance can explain qualitative properties
that standard information design cannot: the designer may provide redundant or
even conterproductive information, asymmetric information structures may be strictly
optimal in symmetric environments, providing information conditional on players'
choices rather than all at once may hurt the designer, and communication between
players may help her. Optimality may require that players ignore their signals with
positive probability.

Keywords: incomplete information games, information design, robustness, strategic ignorance, Bayes correlated equilibrium

JEL Classification: C72, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Taneva, Ina and Wiseman, Thomas, Strategic Ignorance and Information Design (December 31, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Ina Taneva (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

Thomas Wiseman

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

United States

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