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Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by CentER DP 2011-139)

Author

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  • Serra Garcia, M.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • van Damme, E.E.C.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Potters, J.J.M.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

We compare signaling by words and actions in a one-shot 2-person public good game with private information. The informed player, who knows the exact return from contributing, can signal by contributing first (actions) or by sending a costless message (words). Words can be about the return or about her contribution decision. Theoretically, actions lead to fully e¢ cient contributions. Words can be as influential as actions, and thus elicit the uninformed player's contribution, but allow the informed player to free-ride. The exact language used is not expected to matter. Experimentally, we find that words can be as influential as actions. Free-riding, however, does depend on the language: the informed player free-rides less when she talks about her contribution than when she talks about the returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2010. "Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by CentER DP 2011-139)," Discussion Paper 2010-33, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:b0e6e06d-c2e1-4a79-b477-f18b8afed88a
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas de Haan & Theo Offerman & Randolph Sloof, 2015. "Money Talks? An Experimental Investigation Of Cheap Talk And Burned Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 1385-1426, November.
    2. Serra-Garcia, Marta & van Damme, Eric & Potters, Jan, 2011. "Hiding an inconvenient truth: Lies and vagueness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 244-261, September.
    3. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2010. "Hiding an Inconvenient Truth : Lies and Vagueness (Revision of DP 2008-107)," Discussion Paper 2010-80, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information transmission; costly signaling; communication; experiment;

    JEL classification:

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

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