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The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Schipper, Burkhard

Ed. by Fong, Yuk-fai / Peeters, Ronald / Puzzello , Daniela / Rivas, Javier / Wenzelburger, Jan

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Learning, Words and Actions: Experimental Evidence on Coordination-Improving Information

Nicolas Jacquemet / Adam Zylbersztejn
Published Online: 2013-07-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejte-2012-0018


We experimentally study an asymmetric coordination game with two Nash equilibria: one is Pareto-efficient, the other is Pareto-inefficient and involves a weakly dominated strategy. We assess whether information about the interaction partner helps eliminate the imperfect equilibrium. Our treatments involve three information-enhancing mechanisms: repetition and two kinds of individual signals: messages from partner or observation of his past choices. Repetition-based learning increases the frequencies of the most efficient outcome and the most costly strategic mismatch. Moreover, it is superseded by individual signals. Like previous empirical studies, we find that signals provide a screening of partners’ intentions that reduces the frequency of coordination failures. Unlike these studies, we find that the transmission of information between partners, either via messages or observation, does not suffice to significantly increase the overall efficiency of outcomes. This happens mostly because information does not restrain the choice of the dominated action by senders.

Keywords: coordination game; communication; cheap-talk; observation

JEL Classification: C72; D83


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About the article

Published Online: 2013-07-02

Published in Print: 2013-01-01

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 215–247, ISSN (Online) 1935-1704, ISSN (Print) 2194-6124, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejte-2012-0018.

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