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Not so cheap talk: a model of advice with communication costs

Author

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  • Hertel, Jo
  • Smith, John

Abstract

We model a game similar to the interaction between an academic advisor and advisee. Like the classic cheap talk setup, an informed player sends information to an uninformed receiver who is to take an action which affects the payoffs of both sender and receiver. However, unlike the classic cheap talk setup, the preferences regarding the receiver's actions are identical for both sender and receiver. Additionally, the sender incurs a communication cost which is increasing in the complexity of the message sent. We characterize the resulting equilibria. Under an additional out-of-equilibrium condition (Condition L), if preferences for sender and receiver are identical then the only equilibria are the most informative, feasible ones. A similar result appears in Chen, Kartik and Sobel (2008) when their No Incentive to Separate (NITS) condition is applied to the case where communication is costless but preferences diverge. Additionally, we model the competency of the advisee by the probability that the action is selected by mistake. We show that the informativeness of the sender is decreasing in the likelihood of the mistake. When the preferences between players diverge and when there are communication costs, we are not guaranteed uniqueness and we provide an example where an increase in communication costs can improve communication.

Suggested Citation

  • Hertel, Jo & Smith, John, 2009. "Not so cheap talk: a model of advice with communication costs," MPRA Paper 17056, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17056
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17056/1/MPRA_paper_17056.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacques Crémer & Luis Garicano & Andrea Prat, 2007. "Language and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 373-407.
    2. Blume, Andreas & DeJong, Douglas V. & Kim, Yong-Gwan & Sprinkle, Geoffrey B., 2001. "Evolution of Communication with Partial Common Interest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 79-120, October.
    3. Paul E. Fischer & Phillip C. Stocken, 2001. "Imperfect Information and Credible Communication," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 119-134, June.
    4. Board, Oliver J. & Blume, Andreas & Kawamura, Kohei, 2007. "Noisy talk," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(4), December.
    5. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-1037, September.
    6. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Modes of Communication," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1217-1238, December.
    7. Austen-Smith, David, 1994. "Strategic Transmission of Costly Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 955-963, July.
    8. Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003. " An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    complexity; communication; cheap talk;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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