IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/clm/clmeco/2003-05.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ordinal Cheap Talk

Author

Listed:
  • Archishman Chakraborty

    (CUNY-Baruch College)

  • Rick Harbaugh

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

Can comparative statements be credible even when absolute statements are not? For instance, can a professor credibly rank different students for a prospective employer even if she has an incentive to exaggerate the merits of each student? Or can an analyst credibly rank different stocks even if the client would be dubious about a recommendation to buy any one of them? We examine such problems in a multidimensional sender-receiver game where the sender has private information about multiple variables. We show that ordinal cheap talk, in which the variables are completely ordered by value or grouped into categories by value, can be credible even when interests are too opposed to support communication along any single dimension. Ordinal cheap talk is credible because it reveals both favorable and unfavorable information at the same time, thereby precluding any possibility of exaggeration. The communication gains from ordinal cheap talk can be substantial with only a couple of dimensions, and the payoffs from a complete ordering are asymptotically equivalent to full revelation as the number of variables becomes large. However, in various circumstances the sender can do better through a partial ordering that categorizes variables. Compared to other forms of cheap talk, ordinal cheap talk is exceedingly simple in that the sender only makes straightforward, comparative statements.

Suggested Citation

  • Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2003. "Ordinal Cheap Talk," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2003-05, Claremont Colleges.
  • Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2003-05
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/2003-05.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini, 2002. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1379-1401, July.
    2. Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2006. "Best foot forward or best for last in a sequential auction?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 176-194, March.
    3. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
    4. Matthew O Jackson & Hugo F Sonnenschein, 2003. "The Linking of Collective Decisions and Efficiency," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000057, www.najecon.org.
    5. Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003. " An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
    6. Marco Ottaviani & Francesco Squintani, 2002. "Non-Fully Strategic Information Transmission," Wallis Working Papers WP29, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    7. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
    8. Vincent P. Crawford, 2003. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 133-149, March.
    9. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    10. Stephen Morris, 2001. "Political Correctness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 231-265, April.
    11. Chakraborty, Archishman & Harbaugh, Rick, 2003. "Cheap talk comparisons in multi-issue bargaining," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 357-363, March.
    12. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-355, March.
    13. Phillip C. Stocken, 2000. "Credibility of Voluntary Disclosure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 359-374, Summer.
    14. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775.
    15. Robert J. Aumann & Sergiu Hart, 2003. "Long Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1619-1660, November.
      • Robert J. Aumann & Sergiu Hart, 2002. "Long Cheap Talk," Discussion Paper Series dp284, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, revised Nov 2002.
    16. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223.
    17. Joel Sobel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 557-573.
    18. Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2003. "Equilibrium Information Disclosure: Grade Inflation and Unraveling," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1996, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    19. Baliga, Sandeep & Morris, Stephen, 2002. "Co-ordination, Spillovers, and Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 450-468, August.
    20. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    21. Steven A. Matthews, 1989. "Veto Threats: Rhetoric in a Bargaining Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 347-369.
    22. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Cheap Talk and the Fed: A Theory of Imprecise Policy Announcements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 32-42, March.
    23. Joseph Farrell, 1987. "Cheap Talk, Coordination, and Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 34-39, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2006. "Best foot forward or best for last in a sequential auction?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 176-194, March.
    2. Matthew O Jackson & Hugo F Sonnenschein, 2003. "The Linking of Collective Decisions and Efficiency," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000057, www.najecon.org.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cheap talk; credibility; communication;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2003-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edmckus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.