Daniel Rappoport’s research focuses on microeconomic theory. He is particularly interested in communication games, information design, and monotone comparative statics.
Rappoport earned both a PhD and an MPhil in economics from Columbia University. From George Washington, he earned a BS (with honors) in mathematics and a BS (with honors) in economics. Additionally, he has work experience as a summer consultant at Bates White Economic Consulting.
Outside of academia, Rappoport enjoys playing squash, running, and board games.
2020 - 2021 Course Schedule
REVISION: Rank Uncertainty in Organizations
A principal incentivizes a team of agents to work by privately offering them bonuses contingent on team success. We study the principal’s optimal incentive scheme that implements work as a unique equilibrium. This scheme leverages rank uncertainty to address strategic uncertainty. Each agent is informed only of a ranking distribution and his own bonus, the latter making work dominant provided that higher-rank agents work. If agents are symmetric, their bonuses are identical. Thus, discrimination is strictly suboptimal, in sharp contrast with the case of public contracts (Winter, 2004). We characterize how agents’ ranking and compensation vary with asymmetric effort costs.
REVISION: Evidence and Skepticism in Verifiable Disclosure Games
A key feature of communication with evidence is skepticism: to the extent possible, a receiver will attribute any incomplete disclosure to the sender concealing unfavorable evidence. The degree of skepticism depends on how much evidence the sender is expected to possess. I characterize when a change in the prior distribution of evidence induces more skepticism, i.e. induces any receiver to take an equilibrium action that is less favorable to the sender following every message. I formalize an increase in the sender’s (ex-ante) amount of evidence and show that this is equivalent to inducing more skepticism. As an input to this result, I fully characterize receiver optimal equilibrium outcomes in general verifiable disclosure games. I apply these results to a dynamic disclosure problem in which the sender obtains and discloses evidence over time. I identify the necessary and sufficient condition on the evidence structure such that the receiver cannot benefit from early inspections.
REVISION: Incentivizing Information Design
A principal hires an agent to acquire costly information that will influence the decision of a third party. While the realized piece of information is observable and contractible, the experimental process is not. Assuming a general family of information cost functions (inclusive of Shannon’s mutual information), we show that the first best is achievable when the agent has limited liability or when he is risk averse, in contrast to standard moral hazard models. However, when the agent is risk averse and has limited liability, efficiency losses arise generically. Specifically, we show that the principal obtains his first best outcome if and only if she intends to implement a ”symmetric” experiment, i.e. one in which the cost of generating each piece of evidence is the same. On the other hand, ”asymmetric” experiments that are relatively uninformative with high probability but occasionally produce conclusive evidence will bear large agency costs.