Too Cool for School? A Theory of Countersignaling
AbstractIn sender--receiver games high--quality types can distinguish themselves from low--quality types by sending a costly signal. Allowing for additional, noisy information on sender types can radically alter sender behavior in such games. We examine equilibria where medium types separate themselves from low types by signaling, but high types then differentiate themselves from medium types by not signaling, or countersignaling. High types not only save the cost of signaling by relying on the additional information to stochastically separate them from low types, but in doing so they separate themselves from the signaling medium types. Hence they may countersignal even when signaling is a productive activity. To evaluate this theory we report on a two-- cell experiment in which the unique Nash equilibrium of one cell involves countersignaling by high types. Experimental results confirm that subjects can learn to countersignal.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 9811002.
Date of creation: 07 Nov 1998
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Other versions of this item:
- Feltovich, N. & Harbaugh, R. & To, T., 1998. "Too Cool for School? A Theory of Counter signaling," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 518, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1998-12-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-1998-12-09 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-1998-12-09 (Game Theory)
- NEP-MIC-1998-12-09 (Microeconomics)
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