Timing of Messages and the Aumann Conjecture: A multiple-Selves Approach
AbstractThe Aumann (1990) conjecture states that cheap-talk messages do not necessarily help to coordinate on efficient Nash equilibria. In an experimental test of Aumann’s conjecture, Charness (2000) found that cheap-talk messages facilitate coordination when they precede the action, but not when they follow the action. Standard game-theoretical modeling abstracts from this timing effect, and therefore cannot account for it. To allow for a formal analysis of the timing effect, I study the sequential equilibria of the signaling game in which the sender is modeled as comprising two selves: an acting self and a signaling self. I interpret Aumann’s argument in this context to imply that all of the equilibria in this game are ‘babbling’ equilibria, in which the message conveys no information and does not affect the behavior of the receiver. Using this framework, I show that a fully communicative equilibrium exists—only if the message precedes the action but not when the message follows the action. In the latter case, no information is transmitted in any equilibrium. This result provides a game-theoretical explanation for the puzzling experimental results obtained by Charness (2000). I discuss other explanations for this timing-of-message effect and their relationship to the current analysis.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1109.
Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
pre-play communication; Nash equilibrium; coordination games; multiple selves;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2011-12-19 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-EXP-2011-12-19 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2011-12-19 (Game Theory)
- NEP-MIC-2011-12-19 (Microeconomics)
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.:
- Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
- Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 2006.
"A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control,"
3196335, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2005. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000876, David K. Levine.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2004. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2049, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2006. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2112, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, January.
- Schelling, Thomas C, 1984. "Self-Command in Practice, in Policy, and in a Theory of Rational Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 1-11, May.
- Aumann, Robert J. & Hart, Sergiu & Perry, Motty, 1997. "The Forgetful Passenger," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 117-120, July.
- Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982.
"Strategic Information Transmission,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
- Gilboa, Itzhak, 1997. "A Comment on the Absent-Minded Driver Paradox," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 25-30, July.
- H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977.
"An Economic Theory of Self-Control,"
NBER Working Papers
0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Farrell, Joseph, 1986.
"Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt4968n3fz, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
- COOPER, R. & DEJONG, D.V. & FORSYTHE, R. & Tom Ross, 1989. "Communication In Coordination Games," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 89-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
- Kenneth Clark & Stephen Kay & Martin Sefton, 1997.
"When Are Nash Equilibria Self-Enforcing? An Experimental Analysis,"
- Kenneth Clark & Stephen Kay & Martin Sefton, 2001. "When are Nash equilibria self-enforcing? An experimental analysis," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 495-515.
- Clark, K. & Kay, S. & Sefton, M, 1997. "When Are Nash Equilibria Self Enforcing ? An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 97-04, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
- Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
- Farrell, Joseph, 1988. "Communication, coordination and Nash equilibrium," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 209-214.
- Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
- Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
- Halpern, Joseph Y., 1997. "On Ambiguities in the Interpretation of Game Trees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 66-96, July.
- Harsanyi, John C., 1995.
"A new theory of equilibrium selection for games with complete information,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 91-122.
- Harsanyi John C., 1995. "A New Theory of Equilibrium Selection for Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 318-332, August.
- Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004.
"Promises and Partnership,"
122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Cooper, Russell, et al, 1992. "Communication in Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 739-71, May.
- Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
- Schlag, Karl H. & Vida, Péter, 2013. "Commitments, Intentions, Truth and Nash Equilibria," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 438, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Aamer Abu-Qarn).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.