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Coordination, Communication, and Common Knowledge: A Retrospective on the Electronic-mail Game


  • Stephen Morris


Common knowledge plays an important role in coordination problems and coordination problems are central to many areas of economic policy. In this paper, I review some common-knowledge puzzles culminating in the electronic-mail game. These puzzles may seem distant from practical concerns. However, I then argue why insights derived from this literature are useful in interpreting empirical evidence of how people coordinate under uncertainty and in understanding the role of communication in coordinating behaviour. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Morris, 2002. "Coordination, Communication, and Common Knowledge: A Retrospective on the Electronic-mail Game," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 433-445.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:18:y:2002:i:4:p:433-445

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Timothy J. Bartik, 2011. "Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number iik, November.
    6. Francesca Froy & Sylvain Giguère & Michela Meghnagi, 2012. "Skills for Competitiveness: A Synthesis Report," OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Working Papers 2012/9, OECD Publishing.
    7. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Sergio Destefanis, 2012. "Skills for Competitiveness: Country Report for Italy," OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Working Papers 2012/4, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriel Desgranges & Céline Rochon, 2013. "Conformism and public news," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(3), pages 1061-1090, April.
    2. repec:use:tkiwps:3131 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Camille Cornand, 2006. "The pros and cons of higher transparency: the case of speculative attacks," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 72(3), pages 215-246.
    4. Kris De Jaegher, 2015. "Beneficial Long Communication in the Multiplayer Electronic Mail Game," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 233-251, November.
    5. Chen, Yi-Chun & Xiong, Siyang, 2013. "The e-mail game phenomenon," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 147-156.
    6. Uwe Dulleck, 2002. "The e-mail game revisited - Modeling rough inductive reasoning," Vienna Economics Papers 0211, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    7. Qin, Cheng-Zhong & Yang, Chun-Lei, 2013. "Finite-order type spaces and applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 689-719.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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