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Efficient communication in the electronic mail game

  • De Jaegher, Kris

The literature on the electronic mail game shows that players' mutual expectations may lock them into requiring an inefficiently large number of confirmations and confirmations of confirmations from one another. This paper shows that this result hinges on the assumption that, with the exception of the first message, each player can only send a message when receiving an immediately preceding message. We show that, once this assumption is lifted, equilibria involving confirmations of confirmations no longer pass standard refinements of the Nash equilibrium, and are no longer evolutionary stable.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 468-497

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:468-497
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
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  3. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, . "Approximate Common Knowledge and Co-ordination: Recent Lessons from Game Theory," CARESS Working Papres 97-8, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
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  5. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 237, David K. Levine.
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  7. Matsui, Akihiko, 1992. "Best response dynamics and socially stable strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-362, August.
  8. Noeldeke, Georg & Samuelson, Larry, 1996. "A Dynamic Model of Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Markets," Economics Series 27, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  9. Balkenborg, Dieter & Schlag, Karl H., 2007. "On the evolutionary selection of sets of Nash equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 295-315, March.
  10. Karl H. Schlag & Dieter Balkenborg, 2001. "Evolutionarily stable sets," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 571-595.
  11. Aumann, Robert & Brandenburger, Adam, 1995. "Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1161-80, September.
  12. Swinkels, J., 1991. "Evolutionary Stability with Equilibrium Entrants," Papers 9, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  13. Nöldeke, Georg & Larry Samuelson, 1994. "Learning to signal in markets," Discussion Paper Serie B 271, University of Bonn, Germany.
  14. Binmore, Ken & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Coordinated Action in the Electronic Mail Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 6-30, April.
  15. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
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