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Learning Theory and Heterogeneous Play in a Signaling-Game Experiment


  • Drew Fudenberg
  • Emanuel Vespa


We study the effect of how types are assigned to participants in a signaling-game experiment. The sender has two actions, In and Out, and two types. In one treatment, types are i.i.d. in every period, and senders gather experience with both types. In the other, types are assigned once-and-for-all, and feedback is type specific. The theory of learning in games predicts that the non-Nash but self-confirming equilibrium where some fraction of types play Out can persist in the fixed-type treatment but not when types are i.i.d. Our results confirm that more senders do play Out in the fixed-type treatment.

Suggested Citation

  • Drew Fudenberg & Emanuel Vespa, 2019. "Learning Theory and Heterogeneous Play in a Signaling-Game Experiment," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 186-215, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:11:y:2019:i:4:p:186-215
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.20180317

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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