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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Erik Eyster & Matt Rabin, 2003. "Cursed Equilibrium," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0303002, EconWPA.
  4. Battaglini, Marco & Morton, Rebecca & Palfrey, Thomas R, 2006. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," CEPR Discussion Papers 5458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Marco Battaglini, 1999. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Discussion Papers 1295, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1992. "Communication in Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 739-71, May.
  9. Alistair J. Wilson & Emanuel Vespa, 2012. "Communication With Multiple Senders and Multiple Dimensions: An Experiment," Working Papers 401, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2012.
  10. 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.
  11. Goltsman, Maria & Pavlov, Gregory, 2011. "How to talk to multiple audiences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 100-122, May.
  12. Farrell, J. & Gibbons, R., 1989. "Cheap Talk With Two Audiences," Working papers 518, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  15. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  16. 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.
  17. Marco Ottaviani & Francesco Squintani, 2002. "Non-Fully Strategic Information Transmission," Wallis Working Papers WP29, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  18. Alistair J. Wilson & Emanuel Vespa, 2012. "Communication With Multiple Senders and Multiple Dimensions: An Experiment," Working Papers 384, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2012.
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