Credibility and determinism in a game of persuasion

Itai Sher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper studies a game of persuasion. A speaker attempts to persuade a listener to take an action by presenting evidence. Glazer and Rubinstein (2006) showed that when the listener's decision is binary, neither randomization nor commitment have any value for the listener, and commented that the binary nature of the decision was important for the commitment result. In this paper, I show that concavity is the critical assumption for both results: no value to commitment and no value to randomization. Specifically, the key assumption is that the listener's utility function is a concave transformation of the speaker's utility function. This assumption holds vacuously in the binary model. The result that concavity implies credibility allows us to dispense with the assumption that the listener's decision is binary and significantly broadens the scope of the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Volume71
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011

Keywords

  • Commitment
  • Concavity
  • Credibility
  • Determinism
  • Evidence
  • Optimal persuasion rules

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