Rules and Commitment in Communication: An Experimental Analysis

69 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2019

See all articles by Guillaume R. Frechette

Guillaume R. Frechette

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Alessandro Lizzeri

Princeton University - Department of Economics

Jacopo Perego

Columbia University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2019

Abstract

We study the role of commitment in communication and its interactions with rules, which determine whether or not information is verifiable. Our framework nests models of cheap talk, information disclosure, and Bayesian persuasion. Our model predicts that commitment has opposite effects on information transmission under the two alternative rules. We leverage these contrasting forces to experimentally establish that subjects react to commitment in line with the main qualitative implications of the theory. Quantitatively, not all subjects behave as predicted. We show that a form of commitment blindness leads some senders to overcommunicate when information is verifiable and undercommunicate when it is not. This generates an unpredicted gap in information transmission across the two rules, suggesting a novel role for verifiable information in practice.

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Suggested Citation

Frechette, Guillaume R. and Lizzeri, Alessandro and Perego, Jacopo, Rules and Commitment in Communication: An Experimental Analysis (October 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26404, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3476484

Guillaume R. Frechette (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

19 West Fourth St., 6th floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://files.nyu.edu/gf35/public/html/econ.htm

Alessandro Lizzeri

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
08544 (Fax)

Jacopo Perego

Columbia University ( email )

116th and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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