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On Smiles, Winks, and Handshakes as Coordination Devices

  • Paola Manzini

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Abdolkarim Sadrieh


    (Tilburg University)

  • Nicolaas J. Vriend


    (Queen Mary, University of London)

In an experimental study we examine a variant of the 'minimum effort game' , a coordination game with Pareto ranked equilibria, and risk considerations pointing to the least efficient equilibrium. We focus on the question whether simple cues such as smiles, winks and handshakes could be recognized and employed by the players as a tell-tale sign of each other's trustworthiness , thus enabling them to coordinate on the more risky but more rewarding Pareto efficient equilibrium. Our experimental results show that such cues may indeed play a role as coordination devices as their information value is significant and substantial.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 456.

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Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp456
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  1. Ockenfels, Axel & Selten, Reinhard, 2000. "An Experiment on the Hypothesis of Involuntary Truth-Signalling in Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-116, October.
  2. K. Warneryd, 2010. "Evolutionary Stability in Unanimity Games with Cheap Talk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 543, David K. Levine.
  3. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1997. "RatImage 3.30," Discussion Paper Serie B 417, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Sjaak Hurkens & Karl H. Schlag, 1999. "Communication, coordination and efficiency in evolutionary one-population models," Economics Working Papers 387, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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  6. Blume, A. & Kim, Y.G. & Sobel, J., 1993. "Evolutionary Stability in Games of Communication," Working Papers 93-07, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  7. Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Evolutionary stability and efficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(2-3), pages 301-312.
  8. Blume, Andreas, 1998. "Communication, Risk, and Efficiency in Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 171-202, February.
  9. Joseph Farrell., 1986. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Economics Working Papers 8609, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. 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 1323-40, December.
  11. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  12. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-48, March.
  13. Scharlemann, Jorn P. W. & Eckel, Catherine C. & Kacelnik, Alex & Wilson, Rick K., 2001. "The value of a smile: Game theory with a human face," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 617-640, October.
  14. A. J. Robson, 2010. "Efficiency in Evolutionary Games: Darwin, Nash and the Secret Handshake," Levine's Working Paper Archive 540, David K. Levine.
  15. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
  16. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin, 1998. "Time horizon and equilibrium selection in tacit coordination games: Experimental results," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 231-248, October.
  17. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
  18. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
  19. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1989. "Communication in the Battle of the Sexes Game: Some Experimental Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(4), pages 568-587, Winter.
  20. Warneryd Karl, 1993. "Cheap Talk, Coordination, and Evolutionary Stability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 532-546, October.
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