Evolution of Communication with Partial Common Interest
This paper uses experiments to investigate the evolution of communication. We consider simple games of information transmission in which the interests of senders and receivers are imperfectly aligned. We show that under four canonical incentive conditions the no-communication hypothesis can be rejected with and without literal meanings. Communicative outcomes are less likely to evolve and, if they do, evolve more slowly without a commonly understood language. When we see communicative outcomes, they tend to satisfy a partial common interest condition. Equilibria are useful guideposts for analyzing outcomes but are not always obtained; e.g., with literal meanings we observe stable sucker behavior and adherence to focal meanings and, without literal meanings, combinations of actions that could not coexist under
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