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Cheap talk with multiple audiences: An experimental analysis

  • Battaglini, Marco
  • Makarov, Uliana

We examine strategic information transmission in a controlled laboratory experiment of a cheap talk game with one sender and multiple receivers. We study the change in equilibrium behavior from the addition of another audience as well as from varying the degree of conflict between the senderʼs and receiversʼ preferences. We find that, as in cheap talk games with just one receiver, information transmission is higher in games with a separating equilibrium, than in games with only a babbling equilibrium. More interestingly, we find clear evidence that the addition of another audience alters the communication between the sender and the receiver in a way consistent with the theoretical predictions. There is evidence of the presence of agents that are systematically truthful as senders and trusting as receivers: deviations from the theoretical predictions, however, tend to disappear with experience, and learning is faster precisely in the games where deviations are more pronounced.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899825613001577
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 83 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 147-164

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:83:y:2014:i:c:p:147-164
DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2013.11.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Battaglini, Marco & Morton, Rebecca & Palfrey, Thomas R, 2006. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," CEPR Discussion Papers 5458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Farrell, J. & Gibbons, R., 1989. "Cheap Talk With Two Audiences," Working papers 518, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford, 2004. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," ISER Discussion Paper 0613, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  4. Forsythe, Robert & Kennan, John & Sopher, Barry, 1991. "An Experimental Analysis of Strikes in Bargaining Games with One-Sided Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 253-78, March.
  5. Andreas Blume & Douglas V. DeJong & George R. Neumann & N. E. Savin, 2002. "Learning and communication in sender-receiver games: an econometric investigation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 225-247.
  6. Joseph Tao-yi Wang & Michael Spezio & Colin F. Camerer, 2010. "Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth Telling and Deception in Sender-Receiver Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 984-1007, June.
  7. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
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  9. Marco Battaglini, 2002. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1379-1401, July.
  10. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  11. Vincent P. Crawford, 2003. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 133-149, March.
  12. Erik Eyster & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "Cursed Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1623-1672, 09.
  13. Marco Ottaviani & Francesco Squintani, 2002. "Non-Fully Strategic Information Transmission," Wallis Working Papers WP29, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
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  15. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  16. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Joseph Tao-Yi, 2006. "Overcommunication in strategic information transmission games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 7-36, July.
  17. repec:pit:wpaper:384 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Communication in Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 739-771.
  19. Blume, Andreas, et al, 1998. "Experimental Evidence on the Evolution of Meaning of Messages in Sender-Receiver Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1323-40, December.
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  21. Valley, Kathleen & Thompson, Leigh & Gibbons, Robert & Bazerman, Max H., 2002. "How Communication Improves Efficiency in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 127-155, January.
  22. Maria Goltsman & Gregory Pavlov, 2008. "How to Talk to Multiple Audiences," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20081, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  23. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898.
  24. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1991. "Testing for effects of cheap talk in a public goods game with private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 183-220, May.
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