The evolution of Horn's rule
AbstractHorn's rule says that messages can be kept ambiguous if only a single interpretation is plausible. Speakers only perform costly disambiguation to convey surprising information. This paper shows that, while non-cooperative game theory cannot justify Horn's rule, evolutionary game theory can. In order to model the evolution of signalling, the pooling equilibrium needs to be one's starting point. But in such an equilibrium, the plausible interpretation is made, and the receiver is therefore already predisposed to interpret absence of a signal as referring to a plausible event. From there on, a marked signal referring to an implausible event can evolve. At the same time, the paper identifies an exception to Horn's rule. If giving a plausible interpretation for an implausible event is very costly, then in the pooling equilibrium the implausible interpretation is always made. In this exceptional case, only an inefficient separating equilibrium disobeying Horn's rule can evolve.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.
Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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Other versions of this item:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Karl H. Schlag & Dieter Balkenborg, 2001. "Evolutionarily stable sets," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 571-595.
- K.J.M. De Jaegher & R. van Rooij, 2011. "Game-theoretic pragmatics under conflicting and common interests," Working Papers 11-25, Utrecht School of Economics.
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