DP8146 Cheap Talk with Multiple Audiences: an Experimental Analysis

Author(s): Marco Battaglini, Uliana Makarov
Publication Date: December 2010
Keyword(s): cheap talk, communication, experiment
JEL(s): C92, D82, D83
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8146

We examine strategic information transmission in a controlled laboratory experiment of a cheap talk game with one sender and multiple receivers. We study the change in equilibrium behavior from the addition of another audience as well as from varying the degree of conflict between the sender's and receivers' preferences. We find that, as in cheap talk games with just one receiver, information transmission is higher in games with a separating equilibrium, than in games with only a babbling equilibrium. More interestingly, we find clear evidence that the addition of another audience alters the communication between the sender and the receiver in a way consistent with the theoretical predictions. Deviations from the theoretical predictions that we observe tend to disappear with experience, and learning is faster precisely in the games where deviations are more pronounced.