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Communication and Learning

  • Luca Anderlini
  • Dino Gerardi
  • Roger Lagunoff

We study the intergenerational accumulation of knowledge in an infinite-horizon model of communication. Each in a sequence of players receives an informative but imperfect signal of the once-and-for-all realization of an unobserved state. The state affects all players' preferences over present and future decisions. Each player observes his own signal but does not directly observe the realized signals or actions of his predecessors. Instead, he must rely on cheap-talk messages from the previous players to fathom the past. Each player is therefore both a receiver of information with respect to his decision, and a sender with respect to all future decisions. Senders' preferences are misaligned with those of future decision makers. We ask whether there exist "full learning'' equilibria -- ones in which the players' posterior beliefs eventually place full weight on the true state. We show that, regardless of how small the misalignment in preferences is, such equilibria do not exist. This is so both in the case of private communication in which each player only hears the message of his immediate predecessor, and in the case of public communication, in which each player hears the message of all previous players. Surprisingly, in the latter case full learning may be impossible even in the limit as all players become infinitely patient. We also consider the case where all players have access to a mediator who can work across time periods arbitrarily far apart. In this case full learning equilibria exist.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000001868.

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Date of creation: 08 Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001868
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  1. Roger Lagunoff, 2002. "Credible Communication in Dynastic Government," Wallis Working Papers WP34, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  2. Forges, Francoise M, 1986. "An Approach to Communication Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1375-85, November.
  3. Mikhail Golosov, 2009. "Dynamic Strategic Information Transmission," 2009 Meeting Papers 181, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  5. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model Of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775, May.
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  8. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796, March.
  9. Luca Anderlini & Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Communication in dynastic repeated games: ‘Whitewashes’ and ‘coverups’," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 265-299, 08.
  10. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 237, David K. Levine.
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  13. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  14. Marco Ottaviani & Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 1998. "Social learning in a changing world," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 657-665.
  15. Luca Anderlini & Dino Gerardi & Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "Social Memory and Evidence from the Past," Working Papers gueconwpa~07-07-01, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  16. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  17. Hajime Kobayashi, 2007. "Folk Theorems For Infinitely Repeated Games Played By Organizations With Short-Lived Members," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 517-549, 05.
  18. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
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