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Robust Deviations from Signaling Equilibria


  • Peter Eso
  • James Schummer


In Sender-Receiver games with costly signaling, some equilibria are vulnerable to deviations which could be "unambiguously" interpreted by the Receiver as coming from a unique set of possible Sender-types. The vulnerability occurs when the types in this set are the ones who gain from the deviation, regardless of the posterior beliefs the Receiver forms over that set. We formalize this idea and use it to characterize a unique equilibrium outcome in two classes of games. First, in mono- tonic signaling games, only the Riley outcome is immune to this sort of deviation. Our result therefore provides a plausible story behind the selection made by Cho and Kreps' (1987) D1 criterion on this class of games. Second, we examine a version of Crawford and Sobel's (1982) model but with costly signaling and finite type sets, where standard refinements have no effect. We show that only a Riley-like separating equilibrium is immune to these deviations.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Eso & James Schummer, 2005. "Robust Deviations from Signaling Equilibria," Discussion Papers 1406, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1406

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
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    More about this item


    Signaling games; Sender-Receiver; robust equilibrium; re¯nements.;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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