Screening for Breakthroughs

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We identify a new dynamic agency problem: that of incentivising the prompt disclosure of productive information. To study it, we introduce a general model in which a technological breakthrough occurs at an uncertain time and is privately observed by an agent, and a principal must incentivise disclosure via her control of the agent’s utility. We uncover a deadline structure of optimal mechanisms: they have a simple deadline form in an important special case, and a graduated deadline structure in general. We apply our results to the design of unemployment insurance schemes.


Type of resource text
Date created August 20, 2021


Author Curello, Gregorio
Author Sinander, Ludvig
Organizer of meeting Board, Simon
Organizer of meeting Cisternas, Gonzalo
Organizer of meeting Frick, Mira
Organizer of meeting Georgiadis, George
Organizer of meeting Skrzypacz, Andrzej
Organizer of meeting Sugaya, Takuo


Subject economics
Genre Text
Genre Working paper
Genre Grey literature

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY).

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Preferred citation
Curello, G. and Sinander, L. (2022). Screening for Breakthroughs. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at


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