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Signaling without common prior: An experiment

Author

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  • Michalis Drouvelis

    () (University of York)

  • Wieland Mueller

    () (Tilburg University)

  • Alex Possajennikov

    () (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

The common prior assumption is pervasive in game-theoretic models with incomplete information. This paper investigates experimentally the importance of inducing a common prior in a two-person signaling game. For a specific probability distribution of the sender’s type, the long-run behavior without an induced common prior is shown to be different from the behavior when a common prior is induced, while for other distributions behavior is similar under both regimes. We also present a learning model that allows players to learn about the other players’ strategies and the prior distribution of the sender’s type. We show that this learning model accurately accounts for all main features of the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Michalis Drouvelis & Wieland Mueller & Alex Possajennikov, 2009. "Signaling without common prior: An experiment," Discussion Papers 2009-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2009-08
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Banks Jeffrey & Camerer Colin & Porter David, 1994. "An Experimental Analysis of Nash Refinements in Signaling Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-31, January.
    2. Oechssler, Jorg & Schipper, Burkhard, 2003. "Can you guess the game you are playing?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 137-152, April.
    3. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P & Broseta, Bruno, 2001. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1193-1235, September.
    4. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2004. "Learning to play Bayesian games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 282-303, February.
    5. David J. Cooper & Susan Garvin & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Signalling and Adaptive Learning in an Entry Limit Pricing Game," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 662-683, Winter.
    6. Guth, Werner & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta, 2003. "Asymmetric auction experiments with(out) commonly known beliefs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 195-199, August.
    7. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1992. "An Experimental Test of Equilibrium Dominance in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1350-1365, December.
    8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    9. Christopher M. Anderson & Colin F. Camerer, 2000. "Experience-weighted attraction learning in sender-receiver signaling games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 16(3), pages 689-718.
    10. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1993. "Adjustment Patterns and Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Signaling Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 22(3), pages 279-302.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brandts, Jordi & Yao, Lan, 2010. "Ambiguous Information and Market Entry: An Experimental Study," MPRA Paper 25276, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    common prior; signaling; experiment; learning;

    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
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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