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The limited value of a second opinion: Competition and exaggeration in experimental cheap talk games

William Minozzi and Jonathan Woon

Games and Economic Behavior, 2019, vol. 117, issue C, 144-162

Abstract: We experimentally investigate the effect of a second opinion on information transmission. Our design varies the number of senders as well as the alignment and magnitude of senders' biases in a sequential, cheap-talk, sender-receiver game. We find that decision makers do no better when a second opinion is available, irrespective of the alignment or competition between advisers, than when they receive a single opinion. Despite the fact that messaging behavior differs across experimental conditions, receivers successfully extract the same amount of information—an amount greater than what is theoretically predicted. These findings are consistent with senders using a simple strategy of naïve exaggeration, with receivers correctly recognizing this and adjusting their behavior accordingly.

Keywords: Strategic information transmission; Sender-receiver games; Multiple senders; Laboratory experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C92 D82 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2019.05.004

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:117:y:2019:i:c:p:144-162