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Commitments, Intentions, Truth and Nash Equilibria

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  • Schlag, Karl H.
  • Vida, Péter

Abstract

Games with multiple Nash equilibria are believed to be easier to play if players can communicate. We present a simple model of communication in games and investigate the importance of when communication takes place. Sending a message before play captures talk about intentions, after play captures talk about past commitments. We focus on equilibria where messages are believed whenever possible. Applying our results to Aumann’s Stag Hunt game we find that communication is useless if talk is about commitments, while the efficient outcome is selected if talk is about intentions. This confirms intuition and empirical findings in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Schlag, Karl H. & Vida, Péter, 2013. "Commitments, Intentions, Truth and Nash Equilibria," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 438, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:438
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17396/1/438.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rabin, Matthew, 1990. "Communication between rational agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 144-170, June.
    2. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    3. Ro’i Zultan, 2013. "Timing of messages and the Aumann conjecture: a multiple-selves approach," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 42(4), pages 789-800, November.
    4. Tore Ellingsen & Robert Östling, 2010. "When Does Communication Improve Coordination?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1695-1724, September.
    5. Farrell Joseph, 1993. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 514-531, October.
    6. Baliga, Sandeep & Morris, Stephen, 2002. "Co-ordination, Spillovers, and Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 450-468, August.
    7. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
    8. Berger, Ulrich, 2008. "Learning in games with strategic complementarities revisited," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 292-301, November.
    9. David Avis & Gabriel Rosenberg & Rahul Savani & Bernhard Stengel, 2010. "Enumeration of Nash equilibria for two-player games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 42(1), pages 9-37, January.
    10. Kartik, Navin & Ottaviani, Marco & Squintani, Francesco, 2007. "Credulity, lies, and costly talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 93-116, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Karl H. Schlag & Péter Vida, 2014. "Believing when Credible: Talking about Future Plans," Vienna Economics Papers 1409, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    2. Schlag, Karl H. & Vida, Péter, 2015. "Believing when Credible: Talking about Future Plans and Past Actions," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 517, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Forges, Françoise & Horst, Ulrich, 2017. "Sender-Receiver Games with Cooperation," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 17, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pre-play communication; cheap talk; coordination.;

    JEL classification:

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

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