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A study in the pragmatics of persuasion: a game theoretical approach

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Author Info

  • Rubinstein, Ariel

    ()
    (Tel Aviv University and New York University)

  • Glazer, Jacob

    ()
    (Tel Aviv University and Boston University)

Abstract

A speaker wishes to persuade a listener to take a certain action. The conditions under which the request is justified, from the listener’s point of view, depend on the state of the world, which is known only to the speaker. Each state is characterized by a set of statements from which the speaker chooses. A persuasion rule specifies which statements the listener finds persuasive. We study persuasion rules that maximize the probability that the listener accepts the request if and only if it is justified, given that the speaker maximizes the probability that his request is accepted. We prove that there always exists a persuasion rule involving no randomization and that all optimal persuasion rules are ex-post optimal. We relate our analysis to the field of pragmatics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 395-410

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:211

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Related research

Keywords: Persuasion; mechanism design; hard evidence; pragmatics;

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References

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  1. A. Rubinstein, 1999. "Economics and Language," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s6, Economics Department, Princeton University.
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Cited by:
  1. Chen, Ying & Olszewski, Wojciech, 2011. "Effective persuasion," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1310, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  2. Sher, Itai & Vohra, Rakesh, 0. "Price discrimination through communication," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
  3. Kawagoe, Toshiji & Takizawa, Hirokazu, 2009. "Equilibrium refinement vs. level-k analysis: An experimental study of cheap-talk games with private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 238-255, May.
  4. Jacob Glazer & Ariel Rubinstein, 2011. "A Model of Persuasion with a Boundedly Rational Agent," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000258, David K. Levine.
  5. Penélope Hernández & Bernhard von Stengel, 2012. "Nash Codes for Noisy Channels," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0912, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
  6. Sher, Itai, 2011. "Credibility and determinism in a game of persuasion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 409-419, March.
  7. Ben-Porath, Elchanan & Lipman, Barton L., 2012. "Implementation with partial provability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1689-1724.
  8. Di Maggio, Marco, 2009. "Sweet Talk: A Theory of Persuasion," MPRA Paper 18697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Verge, Thibaud & Malavolti-Grimal, Estelle & Loss, Frédéric, 2010. "Communication and Binary Decisions: Is it Better to Communicate?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12189, Paris Dauphine University.
  10. Paul Milgrom, 2007. "What the Seller Won’t Tell You: Persuasion and Disclosure in Markets," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000045, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Ennio Bilancini & Leonardo Boncinelli, 2014. "Persuasion with Reference Cues and Elaboration Costs," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 102, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  12. Péter Eső & Ádám Galambos, 2013. "Disagreement and evidence production in strategic information transmission," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 263-282, February.
  13. Elchanan Ben-Porath & Barton L. Lipman, 2009. "Implementation and Partial Provability," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2009-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  14. Ennio Bilancini & Leonardo Boncinelli, 2014. "Persuasion with Reference Cues and Elaboration Costs," Working Papers - Economics wp2014_04.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.

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