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Comparative Statics of a Signaling Game: An Experimental Study

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  • Potters, Jan
  • van Winden, Frans

Abstract

In this paper a simple and basic signaling game is studied in an experimental environment. First, we check whether we can replicate some of the findings in the literature concerning equilibrium selection and the use and impact of costly signals. Second, and foremost, the comparative statics implications of the game are studied. The experimental results are related to the predictions of two competing behavioral models: a game model, in which subjects are assumed to behave in line with (refined) sequential equilibrium theory, and a decision model, in which subjects are assumed to behave as non-strategic decision makers. The experimental outcomes replicate the finding in the literature that costly messages are sent more frequently by 'higher' sender types (whose information is such that persuasion is also profitable to the responder), and that such messages have an impact on the behavior of the responder. These results are consistent with (versions of) both the game model and the decision model. The comparative statics results, however, clearly point in the direction of the decision model. Play is most strongly affected by 'own' payoff parameters, as predicted by the decision model, and less so by opponent's payoff parameters, as predicted by the mixed strategies of the refined sequential equilibrium. Particularly, a decision model in which players are assumed to adapt beliefs about opponents' choice probabilities in response to experience in previous play, appears to succeed best in organizing the data.
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(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1996. "Comparative Statics of a Signaling Game: An Experimental Study," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 329-353.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:25:y:1996:i:3:p:329-53
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    Cited by:

    1. Kübler, D. & Müller, W. & Normann, H.T., 2008. "Job-market signalling and screening : An experimental study," Other publications TiSEM e60074dd-75cb-47df-965c-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Thomas D. Jeitschko & Hans-Theo Normann, 2009. "Signaling in Deterministic and Stochastic Settings," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 09/12, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London.
    3. Leif Helland & Jon Hovi, 2008. "Renegotiation Proofness and Climate Agreements: Some Experimental Evidence," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, pages 1-2.
    4. Benndorf, Volker & Kübler, Dorothea & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2015. "Privacy concerns, voluntary disclosure of information, and unraveling: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 43-59.
    5. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment: Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 499-522.
    6. Carlos Guerrero de Lizardi, 2008. "Sesgo de medición del PIB derivado de los cambios en la calidad del sector TI: México 2000-2004," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, pages 253-280.
    7. Kübler, Dorothea & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2008. "Job-market signaling and screening: An experimental comparison," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 219-236, September.
    8. Church, Bryan K. & Peytcheva, Marietta & Yu, Wei & Singtokul, Ong-Ard, 2015. "Perspective taking in auditor–manager interactions: An experimental investigation of auditor behavior," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 40-51.
    9. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 1997. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-116/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Daniele Nosenzo & Theo Offerman & Martin Sefton & Ailko van der Veen, 2010. "Inducing Good Behavior: Bonuses versus Fines in Inspection Games," Discussion Papers 2010-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    11. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 973-997.
    12. Jeitschko, Thomas D. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Signaling in deterministic and stochastic settings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 39-55.

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