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Communication, Commitment, and Deception in Social Dilemmas: Experimental Evidence

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  • Gabriele Camera
  • Marco Casari
  • Maria Bigoni

Abstract

Social norms of cooperation are studied under several forms of communication. In an experiment, strangers could make public statements before playing a prisoner’s dilemma. The interaction was repeated indefinitely, which generated multiple equilibria. Communication could be used as a tool to either signal intentions to coordinate on Pareto-superior outcomes, to deceive others, or to credibly commit to actions. Some forms of communication did not promote the incidence of efficient Nash play, and sometimes reduced it. Surprisingly, cooperation suffered when subjects could publicly commit to actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari & Maria Bigoni, 2010. "Communication, Commitment, and Deception in Social Dilemmas: Experimental Evidence," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1236, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1236
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and the frequency of social interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 785-812, July.
    2. Glenn Ellison, 1994. "Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma with Anonymous Random Matching," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 567-588.
    3. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion—The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1759-1772.
    2. Lachlan Deer & Ralph-C. Bayer, 2016. "Pledges of Commitment and Cooperation in Partnerships," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, January.
    3. Bodnar, Olivia & Fremerey, Melinda & Normann, Hans-Theo & Schad, Jannika Leonie, 2021. "The effects of private damage claims on cartel activity: Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 315, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    4. Johne Bone & Michalis Drouvelis & Indrajit Ray, 2013. "Coordination in 2 x 2 Games by Following Recommendations from Correlated Equilibria," Discussion Papers 12-04r, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    5. Schütte, Miriam & Thoma, Carmen, 2014. "Promises and Image Concerns," Discussion Papers in Economics 20861, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Aurora García-Gallego & Penélope Hernández-Rojas & Amalia Rodrigo-González, 2013. "Endogenous vs. Exogenous Transmission of Information: An Experiment," Working Papers 2013/06, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    7. Johne Bone & Michalis Drouvelis & Indrajit Ray, 2013. "Coordination in 2 x 2 Games by Following Recommendations from Correlated Equilibria," Discussion Papers 12-04, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    8. Duffy, John & Heinemann, Frank, 2021. "Central bank reputation, cheap talk and transparency as substitutes for commitment: Experimental evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 887-903.
    9. repec:gam:jgames:v:7:y:2016:i:1:p:4:d:62541 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Waichman, Israel & Requate, Till & Siang, Ch’ng Kean, 2014. "Communication in Cournot competition: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-16.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    coordination; cheap-talk; deception; indefinitely repeated game; social norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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