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Credible Communication and Cooperation: Experimental Evidence from Multi-stage Games

Author

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  • Andersson, Ola

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Wengström, Erik

    () (Lund University)

Abstract

It is well known that communication often serves as a facilitator for cooperation in static games. Yet, communication can serve entirely different purposes in dynamic settings as communication during the game may work as a means for renegotiation, potentially undermining the credibility of cooperative strategies. To explore this issue, this paper experimentally investigates cooperation and non-binding communication in a two-stage game. More specifically, two treatments are considered: one with only pre-play communication and one where subjects can also communicate intra-play between the stages of the game. The results highlight a nontrivial difference concerning the effects of pre-play communication between the two treatments. Pre-play communication only has a significant impact on cooperation when no intra-play communication is possible. The results suggest that the credibility of pre-play messages may depend crucially on future communication opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersson, Ola & Wengström, Erik, 2011. "Credible Communication and Cooperation: Experimental Evidence from Multi-stage Games," Working Paper Series 883, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0883
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    8. Douglas Davis & Bruno Sultanum & Oleg Korenok & Peter Norman & Randall Wright, 2019. "Playing with Money," 2019 Meeting Papers 536, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    10. Gilles Grandjean & Marco Mantovani & Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2014. "Whom are you talking with? An experiment on credibility and communication structure," Working Papers 285, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
    11. Grandjean, Gilles & Mantovani, Marco & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent, 2017. "Communication structure and coalition-proofness – Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 90-102.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Communication; Cooperation; Renegotiation; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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