Signaling with Private Monitoring
Gonzalo Cisternas and Aaron Kolb. Revise and resubmit at The Review of Economic Studies
We study dynamic signaling when the informed party does not observe the signals generated by her actions. A forward-looking sender signals her type continuously over time to a myopic receiver who privately monitors her behavior; in turn, the receiver transmits his private inferences back through an imperfect public signal of his actions. Preferences are linear-quadratic and the information structure is Gaussian. We construct linear Markov equilibria using belief states up to the sender’s second-order belief. Because of the private monitoring, this state is an explicit function of the sender’s past play, leading to a novel separation effect through the second-order belief channel. Applications to models of organizations and reputation are examined.