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Language, meaning and games: a model of communication, coordination and evolution

Stefano Demichelis and Jörgen Weibull

No 61, Carlo Alberto Notebooks from Collegio Carlo Alberto

Abstract: Language is arguably a powerful coordination device in real-life interactions. We here develop a game-theoretic model of two-sided pre-play communication that generalizes the cheap-talk approach by way of introducing a meaning correspondence between messages and actions, and postulating two axioms met by natural languages. Deviations from this correspondence are called dishonest and players have a lexicographic preference for honesty, second to material payoffs. The model is first applied to finite and symmetric two-player games and we establish that, in generic and symmetric n x n -coordination games, a Nash equilibrium component in such a lexicographic communication game is evolutionarily stable if and only if it results in the unique Pareto efficient outcome of the underlying game. We discus Aumann’s (1990) example of a Pareto efficient equilibrium that is not self-enforcing. We also extend the approach to one-sided communication.

Keywords: Communication; coordination; language; honesty; evolutionary stability. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C73 D01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
Date: 2007
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-net
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Related works:
Working Paper: Language, meaning and games A model of communication, coordination and evolution (2009) Downloads
Journal Article: Language, Meaning, and Games: A Model of Communication, Coordination, and Evolution (2008) Downloads
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