Communication, Commitment, and Deception in Social Dilemmas: Experimental Evidence
Quaderni DSE Working Paper No. 751
46 Pages Posted: 30 May 2011
Date Written: May 13, 2011
Social norms of cooperation are studied under several forms of communication. In an experiment, strangers could make public statements before playing a prisoner’s dilemma. The interaction was repeated indefinitely, which generated multiple equilibria.
Communication could be used as a tool to either signal intentions to coordinate on Pareto-superior outcomes, to deceive others, or to credibly commit to actions. Some forms of communication did not promote the incidence of efficient Nash play, and sometimes reduced it. Surprisingly, cooperation suffered when subjects could publicly commit to actions.
Keywords: coordination, cheap-talk, deception, indefinitely repeated game, social norms
JEL Classification: C70, C90, D80
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation