Persuasion for the Long Run

We examine a persuasion game where concerns about future credibility are the sole source of current credibility. A long-run sender plays a cheap talk game with a sequence of short-run receivers. Even with perfect monitoring, long-run incentives do not perfectly substitute for ex-ante commitment to reporting strategies at the stage game. We then show that different methods of augmenting or garbling history can better harness long-run incentives and expand the Pareto frontier. In particular, a `review aggregator’ can implement average payoffs and information structures arbitrarily close to those available under ex-ante commitment. Finally, we examine applications to e-commerce and finance.