IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/esi/discus/2006-29.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Promises and Conventions - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements

Author

Listed:
  • Topi Miettinen

Abstract

Experiments suggest that communication increases the contribution to public goods (Ledyard, 1995). There is also evidence that, when contemplating a lie, people trade off their private benefit from the lie with the harm it inflicts on others (Gneezy, 2005). We develop a model of bilateral pre-play agreements that assumes the latter and implies the former. A preference for not lying provides a partial commitment device that enables informal agreements. We establish some general properties of the set of possible agreements in normal form games and characterize the smallest and largest such set. In symmetric games, pre-play agreements crucially depend on whether actions are strategic complements or substitutes. With strategic substitutes, commitment power tends to decrease in efficiency whereas the opposite may be true with strategic complements.

Suggested Citation

  • Topi Miettinen, 2006. "Promises and Conventions - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2006-29
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://papers.econ.mpg.de/esi/discussionpapers/2006-29.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kranz, Sebastian, 2010. "Moral norms in a partly compliant society," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 255-274, January.
    2. Rabin Matthew, 1994. "A Model of Pre-game Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 370-391, August.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Jan Potters & Sigrid Suetens, 2009. "Cooperation in Experimental Games of Strategic Complements and Substitutes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1125-1147.
    5. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    6. Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "A unified approach to comparative statics puzzles in experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 212-223, January.
    7. Jeannette Brosig & Joachim Weimann & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 217-241, May.
    8. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, April.
    9. Huck, Steffen & Kübler, Dorothea & Weibull, Jörgen, 2001. "Social Norms and Optimal Incentives in Firms," Working Paper Series 565, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. Sanjiv Erat & Uri Gneezy, 2012. "White Lies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(4), pages 723-733, April.
    11. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
    12. Judd B. Kessler & Stephen Leider, 2012. "Norms and Contracting," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 62-77, January.
    13. Sebald, Alexander, 2010. "Attribution and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 339-352, January.
    14. Van Zandt, Timothy & Vives, Xavier, 2007. "Monotone equilibria in Bayesian games of strategic complementarities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 339-360, May.
    15. Aumann, Robert J., 1974. "Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 67-96, March.
    16. Farrell, Joseph, 1988. "Communication, coordination and Nash equilibrium," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 209-214.
    17. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Gjerstad, Steven, 2007. "A tractable model of reciprocity and fairness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 17-45, April.
    18. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2009. "Dynamic psychological games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 1-35, January.
    19. Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Deception Through Telling the Truth?! Experimental Evidence From Individuals and Teams," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 47-60, January.
    20. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
    21. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
    22. Tore Ellingsen & Robert Östling, 2010. "When Does Communication Improve Coordination?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1695-1724, September.
    23. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
    24. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
    25. Martin Dufwenberg & Maroš Servátka & Radovan Vadovič, 2012. "ABC on Deals," Working Papers in Economics 12/14, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    26. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
    27. Sigrid Suetens & Jan Potters, 2007. "Bertrand colludes more than Cournot," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(1), pages 71-77, March.
    28. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    29. Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
    30. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
    31. López-Pérez, Raúl, 2008. "Aversion to norm-breaking: A model," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 237-267, September.
    32. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    33. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2007. "Moral Rules, the Moral Sentiments, and Behavior: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 494-514.
    34. 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.
    35. Bicchieri,Cristina, 2006. "The Grammar of Society," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521573726, October.
    36. John Duffy & Nick Feltovich, 2006. "Words, Deeds, and Lies: Strategic Behaviour in Games with Multiple Signals," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 669-688.
    37. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
    38. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-1277, November.
    39. Bicchieri,Cristina, 2006. "The Grammar of Society," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521574907, October.
    40. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    41. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 1998. "A theoretical analysis of altruism and decision error in public goods games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 297-323, November.
    42. Suetens, Sigrid, 2005. "Cooperative and noncooperative R&D in experimental duopoly markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 63-82, February.
    43. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    44. Athey, Susan, 2001. "Single Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 861-889, July.
    45. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    46. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-27, April.
    47. Dufwenberg, Martin, 2002. "Marital investments, time consistency and emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 57-69, May.
    48. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
    49. 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)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Topi Miettinen, 2008. "Contracts and Promises - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-088, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. López-Pérez, Raúl, 2012. "The power of words: A model of honesty and fairness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 642-658.
    3. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    4. López-Pérez, Raúl, 2009. "The Power of Words: Why Communication fosters Cooperation and Efficiency," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2009/01, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    5. Eric Cardella, 2016. "Exploiting the guilt aversion of others: do agents do it and is it effective?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(4), pages 523-560, April.
    6. Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2018. "Coordination with communication under oath," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(3), pages 627-649, September.
    7. Dufwenberg, Martin & Servátka, Maroš & Vadovič, Radovan, 2017. "Honesty and informal agreements," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 269-285.
    8. He, Simin & Offerman, Theo & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2019. "The power and limits of sequential communication in coordination games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 238-273.
    9. Peeters, Ronald & Vorsatz, Marc & Walzl, Markus, 2015. "Beliefs and truth-telling: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1-12.
    10. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2010. "Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by CentER DP 2011-139)," Discussion Paper 2010-33, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Profit-seeking punishment corrupts norm obedience," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 321-344.
    12. Angelova, Vera & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental deception game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 205-218.
    13. Wang, Siyu & Houser, Daniel, 2019. "Demanding or deferring? An experimental analysis of the economic value of communication with attitude," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 381-395.
    14. Barron, Kai & Nurminen, Tuomas, 2018. "Nudging cooperation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2018-305, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    15. Dugar, Subhasish & Shahriar, Quazi, 2018. "Restricted and free-form cheap-talk and the scope for efficient coordination," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 294-310.
    16. Jacob Goeree & Jingjing Zhang, 2014. "Communication & competition," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 421-438, September.
    17. Ederer, Florian & Stremitzer, Alexander, 2017. "Promises and expectations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 161-178.
    18. Koukoumelis, Anastasios & Levati, M. Vittoria & Weisser, Johannes, 2012. "Leading by words: A voluntary contribution experiment with one-way communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 379-390.
    19. Peeters, Ronald & Vorsatz, Marc, 2021. "Simple guilt and cooperation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    20. Sebastian Kranz, 2006. "Moral Norms in a Partly Compliant Society," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000092, UCLA Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pre-play negotiations; communication; social norms; agreements; guilt;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    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:esi:discus:2006-29. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/mpiewde.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Karin Richter The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Karin Richter to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/mpiewde.html .

    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.