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Comparative statics of a signaling game: An experimental study

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Author Info

  • Potters, J.J.M.

    (Tilburg University)

  • Winden, F.A.A.M. van

Abstract

In this paper a simple and basic signaling game is studied in an experimental environment. First, we check whether we can replicate some of the findings in the literature concerning equilibrium selection and the use and impact of costly signals. Second, and foremost, the comparative statics implications of the game are studied. The experimental results are related to the predictions of two competing behavioral models: a game model, in which subjects are assumed to behave in line with (refined) sequential equilibrium theory, and a decision model, in which subjects are assumed to behave as non-strategic decision makers. The experimental outcomes replicate the finding in the literature that costly messages are sent more frequently by 'higher' sender types (whose information is such that persuasion is also profitable to the responder), and that such messages have an impact on the behavior of the responder. These results are consistent with (versions of) both the game model and the decision model. The comparative statics results, however, clearly point in the direction of the decision model. Play is most strongly affected by 'own' payoff parameters, as predicted by the decision model, and less so by opponent's payoff parameters, as predicted by the mixed strategies of the refined sequential equilibrium. Particularly, a decision model in which players are assumed to adapt beliefs about opponents' choice probabilities in response to experience in previous play, appears to succeed best in organizing the data.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University in its series Open Access publications from Tilburg University with number urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73374.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Publication status: Published in International Journal of Game Theory (1996) v.25, p.329-353
Handle: RePEc:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73374

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Web page: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/

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References

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  1. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
  2. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1992. "An Experimental Test of Equilibrium Dominance in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1350-65, December.
  3. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1993. "Adjustment Patterns and Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Signaling Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 279-302.
  4. Potters, J.J.M. & Winden, F. van, 1992. "Lobbying and asymmetric information," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-223989, Tilburg University.
  5. Mookherjee Dilip & Sopher Barry, 1994. "Learning Behavior in an Experimental Matching Pennies Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 62-91, July.
  6. Neral, John & Ochs, Jack, 1992. "The Sequential Equilibrium Theory of Reputation Building: A Further Test," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1151-69, September.
  7. Banks, Jeffrey & Camerer, Colin & Porter, David., 1990. "An Experimental Analysis of Nash Refinements in Signaling Games," Working Papers 740, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Cadsby, Charles B & Frank, Murray & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 1990. "Pooling, Separating, and Semiseparating Equilibria in Financial Markets: Some Experimental Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 315-42.
  11. Davis, Douglas D. & Holt, Charles a., 1993. "Experimental economics: Methods, problems and promise," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 8(2), pages 179-212.
  12. Wittman, Donald, 1985. "Counter-intuitive results in game theory," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 77-89.
  13. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1991. "Adaptive and sophisticated learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 82-100, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeitschko, Thomas D. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2011. "Signaling in deterministic and stochastic settings," DICE Discussion Papers 35, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  2. Potters, J.J.M. & Winden, F.A.A.M. van, 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment - Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84634, Tilburg University.
  3. Kübler, Dorothea & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2005. "Job Market Signaling and Screening: An Experimental Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 1794, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 1997. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-116/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Benndorf, Volker & Kübler, Dorothea & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2013. "Privacy concerns, voluntary disclosure of information, and unraveling: An experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-208, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Daniele Nosenzo & Theo Offerman & Martin Sefton & Ailko van der Veen, 2010. "Inducing Good Behavior: Bonuses versus Fines in Inspection Games," Discussion Papers 2010-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  7. Cervantes, Laura & Vilalta y Perdomo, Carlos J., 2006. "Una Evaluación Geográfica de la Política de Educación Media Superior de la Ciudad de México," EGAP Working Papers 2006-07, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de México.

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