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Communication, Timing, and Common Learning

  • Jakub Steiner
  • Colin Stewart

We study the effect of stochastically delayed communication on common knowledge acquisition (common learning). If messages do not report dispatch times, communication prevents common learning under general conditions even if common knowledge is acquired without communication. If messages report dispatch times, communication can destroy common learning under more restrictive conditions. The failure of common learning in the two cases is based on different infection arguments. Communication can destroy common learning even if it ends in finite time, or if agents communicate all of their information. We also identify conditions under which common learning is preserved in the presence of communication.

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File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-389.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-389.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 19 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-389
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Binmore, Ken & Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Coordinated Action in the Electronic Mail Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 6-30, April.
  2. Martin W. Cripps & Jeffrey C. Ely & George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2006. "Common Learning," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1575R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jun 2007.
    • Martin W. Cripps & Jeffrey C. Ely & George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2008. "Common Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 909-933, 07.
  3. John Geanakoplos & Heracles M. Polemarchakis, 1982. "We Can't Disagree Forever," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 639, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Geanakoplos, John D. & Polemarchakis, Heraklis M., 1982. "We can't disagree forever," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 192-200, October.
  5. Koessler, Frederic, 2001. "Common knowledge and consensus with noisy communication," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 139-159, September.
  6. Heifetz, Aviad, 1996. "Comment on Consensus without Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 273-277, July.
  7. Morris Stephen E, 2002. "Faulty Communication: Some Variations on the Electronic Mail Game," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-26, January.
  8. Parikh, Rohit & Krasucki, Paul, 1990. "Communication, consensus, and knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 178-189, October.
  9. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
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