IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mpg/wpaper/2019_08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Experimental Study on the Effects of Communication, Credibility, and Clustering in Network Games

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Charness

    () (University of California at Santa Barbara, IZA Bonn, and CESifo Munich)

  • Francesco Feri

    () (Royal Holloway University of London and University of Trieste)

  • Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez

    () (Universidad de Málaga)

  • Matthias Sutter

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

The effectiveness of social interaction depends strongly on an ability to coordinate actions efficiently. In large networks, such coordination may be very difficult to achieve and may depend on the communication technology and the network structure. We examine how pre-play communication and clustering within networks affect coordination in a challenging experimental game on eight-person networks. Free-form chat is enormously effective in achieving the non-equilibrium efficient outcome in our game, but restricted communication (where subjects can only indicate their intended action) is almost entirely ineffective. We can rationalize this result with a novel model about the credibility of cheap-talk messages. This credibility is much larger with free-form message communication than with restricted communication. We are the first to model this credibility and show, both theoretically and experimentally, an interaction effect of network structure and communication technologies. We also provide a model of message diffusion, which indeed predicts that diffusion will be more rapid without clustering and is consistent with our data.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Charness & Francesco Feri & Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez & Matthias Sutter, 2019. "An Experimental Study on the Effects of Communication, Credibility, and Clustering in Network Games," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2019_08, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2019_08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2019_08online.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Clark & Stephen Kay & Martin Sefton, 2001. "When are Nash equilibria self-enforcing? An experimental analysis," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 29(4), pages 495-515.
    2. Rabin, Matthew, 1990. "Communication between rational agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 144-170, June.
    3. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Georg Kirchsteiger & Markus Walzl, 2010. "On the Evolution of Market Institutions: The Platform Design Paradox," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 215-243, March.
    4. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis & Ren, Ting, 2011. "Lavish returns on cheap talk: Two-way communication in trust games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, February.
    5. Matthias Sutter & Stefan Haigner & Martin G. Kocher, 2010. "Choosing the Carrot or the Stick? Endogenous Institutional Choice in Social Dilemma Situations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1540-1566.
    6. Gary Charness & Francesco Feri & Miguel A. Meléndez‐Jiménez & Matthias Sutter, 2014. "Experimental Games on Networks: Underpinnings of Behavior and Equilibrium Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(5), pages 1615-1670, September.
    7. Farrell Joseph, 1993. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 514-531, October.
    8. Ben-Porath, Elchanan & Dekel, Eddie, 1992. "Signaling future actions and the potential for sacrifice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 36-51.
    9. Jordi Brandts & Matthew Ellman & Gary Charness, 2016. "Let'S Talk: How Communication Affects Contract Design," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 943-974, August.
    10. Matthews, Steven A. & Okuno-Fujiwara, Masahiro & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1991. "Refining cheap-talk equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 247-273, December.
    11. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-1037, September.
    12. Eshel, Ilan & Samuelson, Larry & Shaked, Avner, 1998. "Altruists, Egoists, and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 157-179, March.
    13. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2005. "Burning money and (pseudo) first-mover advantages: an experimental study on forward induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 109-127, April.
    14. Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2006. "Building up social capital in a changing world," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2305-2338, November.
    15. van Damme, Eric, 1989. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 476-496, August.
    16. Pedro Dal Bo & Andrew Foster & Louis Putterman, 2010. "Institutions and Behavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2205-2229, December.
    17. Philip Babcock & Kelly Bedard & Gary Charness & John Hartman & Heather Royer, 2015. "Letting Down The Team? Social Effects Of Team Incentives," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(5), pages 841-870, October.
    18. Syngjoo Choi & Jihong Lee, 2014. "Communication, Coordination, And Networks," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 223-247, February.
    19. Uri Gneezy & Agne Kajackaite & Joel Sobel, 2018. "Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 419-453, February.
    20. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    21. Jeannette Brosig & Joachim Weimann & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 217-241, May.
    22. Keser, Claudia & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Berninghaus, Siegfried K., 1998. "Coordination and local interaction: experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 269-275, March.
    23. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Self-Serving Cheap Talk: A Test Of Aumann's Conjecture," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 177-194, November.
    24. Blume, Andreas, et al, 1998. "Experimental Evidence on the Evolution of Meaning of Messages in Sender-Receiver Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1323-1340, December.
    25. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Communication in Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 739-771.
    26. Cassar, Alessandra, 2007. "Coordination and cooperation in local, random and small world networks: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 209-230, February.
    27. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
    28. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
    29. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Keser, Claudia, 2002. "Conventions and Local Interaction Structures: Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 177-205, May.
    30. Fernando Vega-Redondo & Matteo Marsili & Frantisek Slanina, 2005. "Clustering, Cooperation, and Search in Social Networks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 628-638, 04/05.
    31. Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Networks; Clustering; Communication; Credibility; Cheap talk; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2019_08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marc Martin). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/mppggde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.