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Ill-Defined versus Precise Pre-Play Communication in the Traveler’s Dilemma

Author

Listed:
  • Sujoy Chakravarty

    () (Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India;)

  • Emmanuel Dechenaux

    () (Department of Economics, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA;)

  • Jaideep Roy

    () (Department of Economics, JG Smith Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK;)

Abstract

This article reports results from an experiment comparing the effects of vague versus precise pre-play communication in a highly competitive two-player game with conflicting interests. In the classic Traveler’s Dilemma, non-binding precise messages about intent of play are pure cheap talk. We conjecture that a form of imprecise pre-play communication whereby subjects can submit ill-defined messages may help foster cooperation because of their vagueness. Comparing behavior both across modes of communication and to a baseline case without communication, we find that cooperation is highest when players can communicate using precise numerical messages. When communication with ill-defined messages is allowed, then conditional on receiving a message, subjects act more cooperatively than when no message is received. However, overall, the ability to exchange ill-defined messages does not substantially improve cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Sujoy Chakravarty & Emmanuel Dechenaux & Jaideep Roy, 2010. "Ill-Defined versus Precise Pre-Play Communication in the Traveler’s Dilemma," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 351-368, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:77:2:y:2010:p:351-368
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4284/sej.2010.77.2.351
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Morone, A. & Morone, P. & Germani, A.R., 2014. "Individual and group behaviour in the traveler's dilemma: An experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 1-7.
    2. repec:bla:buecrs:v:68:y:2016:i:s1:p:123-132 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:79-91 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Andrea Morone & Piergiuseppe Morone, 2016. "The Focal Point In The Traveller'S Dilemma: An Experimental Study," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(S1), pages 123-132, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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