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Learning, Words and Actions: Experimental Evidence on Coordination-Improving Information

Listed author(s):
  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    ()

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, BETA - Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Adam Zylbersztejn

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)

We experimentally study an asymmetric coordination game with two Nash equilibria: one is Pareto-efficient, the other is Pareto-inefficient and involves a weakly dominated strategy. We assess whether information about the interaction partner helps eliminate the imperfect equilibrium. Our treatments involve three information-enhancing mechanisms: repetition and two kinds of individual signals: messages from partner or observation of his past choices. Repetition-based learning increases the frequencies of the most efficient outcome and the most costly strategic mismatch. Moreover, it is superseded by individual signals. Like previous empirical studies, we find that signals provide a screening of partners' intentions that reduces the frequency of coordination failures. Unlike these studies, we find that the transmission of information between partners, either via messages or observation, does not suffice to significantly increase the overall efficiency of outcomes. This happens mostly because information does not restrain the choice of the dominated action by senders.

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File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00845123/document
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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" with number halshs-00845123.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
Publication status: Published in B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, 2013, 13 (1), pp.215-247. <10.1515/bejte-2012-0018>
Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-00845123
DOI: 10.1515/bejte-2012-0018
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00845123
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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  1. Nicolas Jacquemet & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2014. "What drives failure to maximize payoffs in the lab? A test of the inequality aversion hypothesis," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 18(4), pages 243-264, December.
  2. Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2004. "How Effective Are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1587-1602, November.
  3. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Rick L. Williams, 2000. "A Note on Robust Variance Estimation for Cluster-Correlated Data," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 645-646, 06.
  6. Bracht, Juergen & Feltovich, Nick, 2009. "Whatever you say, your reputation precedes you: Observation and cheap talk in the trust game," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1036-1044, October.
  7. Gregory M. Parkhurst & Jason F. Shogren & Chris Bastian, 2004. "Repetition, Communication, and Coordination Failure," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 141-152, 06.
  8. 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.
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