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Ignorance Is Bliss: An Experimental Study of the Use of Ambiguity and Vagueness in the Coordination Games with Asymmetric Payoffs

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  • Marina Agranov
  • Andrew Schotter

Abstract

We consider a game where one player, the Announcer, has to communicate the value of a payoff relevant state of the world to a set of players who play a coordination game with multiple equilibria. While the Announcer and the players agree that coordination is desirable, since the payoffs of the players at the equilibria are unequal, they disagree as to which equilibrium is best. We demonstrate experimentally that in such coordination games, in order to mask the asymmetry of equilibrium payoffs, it may be advantageous for a utilitarian benevolent Announcer to communicate in an ambiguous or vague manner. (JEL C71, D81, D83)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 77-103

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:77-103

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.2.77
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Cited by:
  1. Adrian de Groot Ruiz & Theo Offerman & Sander Onderstal, 2011. "An Experimental Study of Credible Deviations and ACDC," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-153/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Bizer, Kilian & Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till & Spiwoks, Markus, 2014. "Strategic coordination in forecasting: An experimental study," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 195, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  3. Adrian de Groot Ruiz & Theo Offerman & Sander Onderstal, 2011. "Equilibrium Selection in Cheap Talk Games: ACDC rocks when Other Criteria remain silent," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-037/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 31 Oct 2011.
  4. Agranov, Marina & Schotter, Andrew, 2013. "Language and government coordination: An experimental study of communication in the announcement game," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 26-39.

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