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A Theory of Deception

Listed author(s):
  • David Ettinger

    (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine, CEREMADE - CEntre de REcherches en MAthématiques de la DEcision - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Philippe Jehiel

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, University College of London [London])

This paper proposes an equilibrium approach to belief manipulation and deception in which agents only have coarse knowledge of their opponent's strategy. Equilibrium requires the coarse knowledge available to agents to be correct, and the inferences and optimizations to be made on the basis of the simplest theories compatible with the available knowledge. The approach can be viewed as formalizing into a game theoretic setting a well documented bias in social psychology, the fundamental attribution error. It is applied to a bargaining problem, thereby revealing a deceptive tactic that is hard to explain in the full rationality paradigm.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00813044.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
Publication status: Published in American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, 2010, 2 (1), pp.1-20. <10.1257/mic.2.1.1>
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00813044
DOI: 10.1257/mic.2.1.1
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00813044
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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  1. Jehiel, Philippe & Samet, Dov, 2007. "Valuation equilibrium," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), June.
  2. Jehiel, Philippe, 2005. "Analogy-based expectation equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 81-104, August.
  3. Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 577-619.
  4. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1989. "Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Games with a Patient Player," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 759-778, July.
  5. Joel Sobel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 557-573.
  6. Ignacio Esponda, 2008. "Behavioral Equilibrium in Economies with Adverse Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1269-1291, September.
  7. Jeheil Phillippe, 1995. "Limited Horizon Forecast in Repeated Alternate Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 497-519, December.
  8. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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