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Valuable cheap talk and equilibrium selection

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  • Julian Jamison

Abstract

Intuitively, we expect that players who are allowed to engage in costless communication before playing a game would be foolish to agree on an inefficient equilibrium. At the same time, however, such preplay communication has been suggested as a rationale for expecting Nash equilibrium in general. This paper presents a plausible formal model of cheap talk that distinguishes and resolves these possibilities. Players are assumed to have an unlimited opportunity to send messages before playing an arbitrary game. Using an extension of fictitious play beliefs, minimal assumptions are made concerning which messages about future actions are credible and hence contribute to final beliefs. In this environment it is shown that meaningful communication among players leads to a Nash equilibrium (NE) of the action game. Within the set of NE, efficiency then turns out to be a consequence of imposing optimality on the cheap talk portion of the extended game. This finding contrasts with previous "babbling" results.

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  • Julian Jamison, 2012. "Valuable cheap talk and equilibrium selection," Working Papers 12-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:12-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bergin James & MacLeod W. Bentley, 1993. "Efficiency and Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 42-73, October.
    2. Joseph Farrell, 1987. "Cheap Talk, Coordination, and Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 34-39, Spring.
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    Keywords

    Game theory ; Stochastic analysis;

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