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Language, meaning and games A model of communication, coordination and evolution

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  • Stefano Demichelis

    (Università di Pavia)

  • Jörgen Weibull

    (SSE - Department of Economics - SSE - Stockholm School of Economics, X-DEP-ECO - Département d'Économie de l'École Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique)

Abstract

Language is arguably a powerful coordination device in real-life interactions. We here develop a game-theoretic model of pre-play communication that generalizes the cheap-talk approach by way of introducing a meaning correspondence between messages and actions, and postulating two axioms met by natural languages. Deviations from this correspondence are called dishonest and players have a lexicographic preference for honesty, second to material payoffs. The model is first applied to two-sided preplay communication in finite and symmetric two-player games and we establish that, in generic and symmetric n × n - coordination games, a Nash equilibrium component in such a lexicographic communication game is evolutionarily stable if and only if it results in the unique Pareto efficient outcome of the underlying game. We extend the approach to one-sided communication in finite, not necessarily symmetric, two-player games.

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  • Stefano Demichelis & Jörgen Weibull, 2009. "Language, meaning and games A model of communication, coordination and evolution," Working Papers hal-00354224, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00354224
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00354224
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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