Signaling and Countersignaling: A Theory of Understatement
AbstractIn signaling environments ranging from consumption to education, high quality senders often shun the standard signals that should separate them from lower quality senders. We find that allowing for additional, noisy information on sender quality permits equilibria where medium types signal to separate themselves from low types, but high types then choose to not signal or countersignal. High types not only save costs by relying on the additional information to stochastically separate them from low types, but countersignaling itself is a signal of confidence which separates high types from medium types. Experimental results confirm that subjects can learn to countersignal.
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 Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 1999-21.
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 500 E. 9th Street, Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 607-3041
Fax: (909) 621-8249
Web page: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/
More information through EDIRC
signaling; countersignaling; understatement;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
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.:
- Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991.
"Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
- Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
- Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985.
"Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games,"
Working Papers, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences
565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- John G. Riley, 1974.
UCLA Economics Working Papers
050, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
- Engers, Maxim, 1987. "Signalling with Many Signals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 663-74, May.
- Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
- Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999.
"Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment,"
Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society,
Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
- Ball, Sheryl B. & Bazerman, Max H. & Carroll, John S., 1991. "An evaluation of learning in the bilateral winner's curse," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-22, February.
- Hans K. Hvide, 2003. "Education and the Allocation of Talent," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 945-976, October.
- Mark N. Hertzendorf, 1993. "I'm Not a High-Quality Firm -- But I Play One on TV," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 236-247, Summer.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
896, David K. Levine.
- Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
- Cho, In-Koo & Sobel, Joel, 1990. "Strategic stability and uniqueness in signaling games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 381-413, April.
- Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1995.
"Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 771-92, September.
- Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1993. "Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1049, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1991.
"The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions: Reply,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 362-69, March.
- John H. Kagel & Colin M. Campbell & Dan Levin, 1999. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 325-334, March.
- Teoh, Siew Hong & Hwang, Chuan Yang, 1991. "Nondisclosure and Adverse Disclosure as Signals of Firm Value," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(2), pages 283-313.
- Quinzii, Martine & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1985. "Multidimensional signalling," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 261-284, June.
- Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-34, December.
- Garvin, Susan & Kagel, John H., 1994. "Learning in common value auctions: Some initial observations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 351-372, December.
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Time and Communication in Economic and Social Interaction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 651-60, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.