Strategic investment and learning with private information
Article [Version of Record]
Publisher(s)Université de Montréal. Département de sciences économiques.
We study a two-player game of strategic experimentation in which agents choose the timing of investments which yield uncertain returns over time. Agents learn about future returns through privately observed signals, others’ investment decisions and from public experimentation outcomes when returns are realized. We characterize symmetric equilibria, and we relate the extent of strategic delay of investments in equilibrium to the primitives of the information structure. Agents invest without delay when the most optimistic intermediate belief exceeds a threshold. Otherwise, delay in investments induces a negative learning feed-back which may either escalate or dampen beliefs and investment choices. We highlight how private information in strategic experimentation can increase ex ante welfare because of strategic uncertainty and due to an «encouragement eﬀect of private information».