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A study in the pragmatics of persuasion: a game theoretical approach

Author

Listed:
  • Glazer, Jacob

    () (Tel Aviv University and Boston University)

  • Rubinstein, Ariel

    () (Tel Aviv University and New York University)

Abstract

A speaker wishes to persuade a listener to take a certain action. The conditions under which the request is justified, from the listener’s point of view, depend on the state of the world, which is known only to the speaker. Each state is characterized by a set of statements from which the speaker chooses. A persuasion rule specifies which statements the listener finds persuasive. We study persuasion rules that maximize the probability that the listener accepts the request if and only if it is justified, given that the speaker maximizes the probability that his request is accepted. We prove that there always exists a persuasion rule involving no randomization and that all optimal persuasion rules are ex-post optimal. We relate our analysis to the field of pragmatics.

Suggested Citation

  • Glazer, Jacob & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2006. "A study in the pragmatics of persuasion: a game theoretical approach," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 395-410, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:211
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    File URL: http://econtheory.org/ojs/index.php/te/article/viewFile/20060395/948/41
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein,Ariel, 2000. "Economics and Language," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521789905, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Persuasion; mechanism design; hard evidence; pragmatics;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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