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Believing when Credible: Talking about Future Plans and Past Actions

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  • Schlag, Karl H.
  • Vida, Péter

Abstract

We explore in an equilibrium framework whether games with multiple Nash equilibria are easier to play when players can communicate. We consider two variants, modelling talk about future plans and talk about past actions. The language from which messages are chosen is endogenous, messages are allowed to be vague. We focus on equilibria where messages are believed whenever possible, thereby develop a theory of credible communication. Predictions confirm the longstanding intuition for Aumann’s (1990) Stag Hunt game which applies directly to an investment game with positive spillovers. Our results shed new light on the multiplicity of equilibria in economic applications.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:517
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
    3. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Self-Serving Cheap Talk: A Test Of Aumann's Conjecture," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 177-194, November.
    4. Marta Serra-Garcia & Eric van Damme & Jan Potters, 2013. "Lying About What You Know Or About What You Do?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1204-1229, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Navin Kartik, 2009. "Strategic Communication with Lying Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1359-1395.
    7. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
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    12. Tore Ellingsen & Robert Östling, 2010. "When Does Communication Improve Coordination?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1695-1724, September.
    13. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-1277, November.
    14. Baliga, Sandeep & Morris, Stephen, 2002. "Co-ordination, Spillovers, and Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 450-468, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pre-Play Communication; Cheap Talk; Credibility; Coordination; Language; Multiple Equilibria.;

    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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