Competition, Preference Uncertainty, and Jamming: A Strategic Communication Experiment
39 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 25 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
Many political environments in established democracies are characterized by competition and information asymmetries. These features, when combined with uncertainty about the preferences of information providers, yield opportunities for those providers to jam, or impede the communication of information to those who need it. We describe a game-theoretic laboratory experiment in which subjects play a strategic information transmission game with two senders who have private information about their preferences. Subjects exhibit some behavior consistent with their strategic incentives, but they also differ from equilibrium predictions in systematic ways. Neither increases in payoffs, nor learning, nor limited strategic sophistication eliminates these differences.
Keywords: strategic communication, cheap talk, laboratory experiment, game theory, bounded rationality
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