Rules and Commitment in Communication: An Experimental Analysis

Guillaume R. Fréchette, Alessandro Lizzeri, Jacopo Perego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study the role of commitment in communication and its interactions with rules, which determine whether information is verifiable. Our framework nests models of cheap talk, information disclosure, and Bayesian persuasion. It 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2283-2318
Number of pages36
JournalEconometrica
Volume90
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

Keywords

  • commitment
  • Communication
  • experiment
  • persuasion
  • verifiability

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