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Research Details

Markets for Rhetorical Services

Abstract

This paper studies markets for rhetorical services, which help the purchaser make compelling arguments. We model these services as "signal-jamming" technologies that secretly improve the strength of an informative argument. The key feature of these markets is the presence of an audience who bases a decision on that argument, and whose beliefs determine demand in equilibrium. We characterize how audience beliefs shape market outcomes and explore the effects of rhetorical services on social welfare. Outcomes and welfare depend on a key distinction between "embellishing services," which enable stronger lies, and "clarifying services," which enable stronger truthful arguments.

Type

Working Paper

Author(s)

Daniel Barron, Michael Powell

Date Published

2020

Citations

Barron, Daniel, and Michael Powell. 2020. Markets for Rhetorical Services.

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