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Cheap Talk with Multiple Audiences: an Experimental Analysis

  • Battaglini, Marco
  • Makarov, Uliana

We examine strategic information transmission in a controlled laboratory experiment of a cheap talk game with one sender and multiple receivers. We study the change in equilibrium behavior from the addition of another audience as well as from varying the degree of conflict between the sender's and receivers' preferences. We find that, as in cheap talk games with just one receiver, information transmission is higher in games with a separating equilibrium, than in games with only a babbling equilibrium. More interestingly, we find clear evidence that the addition of another audience alters the communication between the sender and the receiver in a way consistent with the theoretical predictions. Deviations from the theoretical predictions that we observe tend to disappear with experience, and learning is faster precisely in the games where deviations are more pronounced.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8146.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8146
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  1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca Morton & Thomas Palfrey, 2007. "The Swing Voter’s Curse in the Laboratory," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000760, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Erik Eyster & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "Cursed Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1623-1672, 09.
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  4. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Communication in Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 739-771.
  5. Blume, Andreas, et al, 1998. "Experimental Evidence on the Evolution of Meaning of Messages in Sender-Receiver Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1323-40, December.
  6. Forsythe, Robert & Kennan, John & Sopher, Barry, 1991. "An Experimental Analysis of Strikes in Bargaining Games with One-Sided Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 253-78, March.
  7. Costa-Gomes, Miguel A. & Crawford, Vincent P., 2004. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt449812fx, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. Crawford, Vincent P., 2001. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6k65014s, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  9. Marco Battaglini, 1999. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Discussion Papers 1295, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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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. Farrell, Joseph & Gibbons, Robert, 1989. "Cheap Talk with Two Audiences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1214-23, December.
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  16. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898.
  17. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1991. "Testing for effects of cheap talk in a public goods game with private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 183-220, May.
  18. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Joseph Tao-Yi, 2006. "Overcommunication in strategic information transmission games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 7-36, July.
  19. Marco Ottaviani & Francesco Squintani, 2002. "Non-Fully Strategic Information Transmission," Wallis Working Papers WP29, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  20. Goltsman, Maria & Pavlov, Gregory, 2011. "How to talk to multiple audiences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 100-122, May.
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  22. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  23. Valley, Kathleen & Thompson, Leigh & Gibbons, Robert & Bazerman, Max H., 2002. "How Communication Improves Efficiency in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 127-155, January.
  24. Andreas Blume & Douglas V. DeJong & George R. Neumann & N. E. Savin, 2002. "Learning and communication in sender-receiver games: an econometric investigation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 225-247.
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