Constrained Listening, Audience Alignment, and Expert Communication

Constrained Listening, Audience Alignment, and Expert Communication

By
Paul E. Fischer, Mirko S. Heinle, Kevin Smith
The RAND Journal of Economics. November
2020, Vol. 51, Issue 4, Pages 1037–1062

We consider a cheap‐talk setting with two senders and a continuum of receivers with heterogeneous preferences. Each receiver is constrained to listen to one of the senders but can choose which sender to listen to. The introduction of a second sender facilitates more informative communication and even enables full communication for a large set of sender preference pairs. We use the model to assess the size and characteristics of sender audiences, the amount of information communicated, and the impact of the senders’ biases on the receivers’ actions.