When Honest Signals Must Be Costly
In an influential paper, Grafen (1990) provided a mathematical demonstration of the validity of Zahavi's handicap principle . Grafen showed how an honest signalling system is stabilized through costly signalling: cost stabilizes the system when the cost of lying is greater than any benefit associated with doing so. Because cost serves to prevent lies, a stable signalling system clearly will require some sort of cost associated with lying. Must there be cost associated with telling the truth, as well? In Grafen's model, the answer is ``yes''. Subsequent discrete models (models that allow only a finite set of discrete states and a finite set of discrete signals) yield the opposite result: cost need not be associated with honest signals, so long as dishonest signals are costly. In this letter we show that this an artifact of the discrete nature of these models. In continuous models, even if different signallers have distinct 'optimal' characters, when these characters are used as signals, the system will go to an equilibrium at which signalling is costly.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||Aug 1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Vega-Redondo, F. & Hasson, O., 1990. "A Game-Theoretic Model of Predator-Prey Signalling. ," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 148.90, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-08-059. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.