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Credibility and determinism in a game of persuasion

  • Sher, Itai

This paper studies a game of persuasion. A speaker attempts to persuade a listener to take an action by presenting evidence. Glazer and Rubinstein (2006) showed that when the listener's decision is binary, neither randomization nor commitment have any value for the listener, and commented that the binary nature of the decision was important for the commitment result. In this paper, I show that concavity is the critical assumption for both results: no value to commitment and no value to randomization. Specifically, the key assumption is that the listener's utility function is a concave transformation of the speaker's utility function. This assumption holds vacuously in the binary model. The result that concavity implies credibility allows us to dispense with the assumption that the listener's decision is binary and significantly broadens the scope of the model.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WFW-506RN1X-1/2/4ca1d106d380bc152f8c8a3034dc2817
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 71 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 409-419

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:71:y:2011:i:2:p:409-419
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Jacob Glazer & Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "On Optimal Rules of Persuasion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1715-1736, November.
  2. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  3. Hyun Song Shin, 2001. "Disclosures and Asset Returns," FMG Discussion Papers dp371, Financial Markets Group.
  4. H.S. Shin, 1994. "News Management and the Value of Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 58-71, Spring.
  5. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  6. Glazer, Jacob & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2001. "Debates and Decisions: On a Rationale of Argumentation Rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 158-173, August.
  7. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Sher, Itai, 2014. "Persuasion and dynamic communication," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), January.
  9. Rubinstein, Ariel & Glazer, Jacob, 2006. "A study in the pragmatics of persuasion: a game theoretical approach," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 395-410, December.
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