Complex Disclosure

Ginger Zhe Jin, Michael Luca, Daniel Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We present evidence that unnecessarily complex disclosure can result from strategic incentives to shroud information. In our laboratory experiment, senders are required to report their private information truthfully but can choose how complex to make their reports. We find that senders use complex disclosure more than half the time. This obfuscation is profitable because receivers make systematic mistakes in assessing complex reports. Regression and structural analysis suggest that these mistakes could be driven by receivers who are naive about the strategic use of complexity or overconfident about their ability to process complex information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3236-3261
Number of pages26
JournalManagement Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • complexity
  • disclosure
  • experiments
  • naivete
  • overconfidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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