Cheap talk and cooperation in Stackelberg games

  • Raimo P. Hämäläinen
  • Ilkka LeppänenEmail author
Original Paper


Previous literature on cheap talk suggests that it is used to increase cooperation. We study cheap talk and the effect of the leader’s private payoff information in new repeated Stackelberg game settings. Our results confirm earlier studies that the players cooperate in repeated Stackelberg games with complete payoff information. In the cheap talk setting the follower has the actual first mover advantage and should in theory benefit from it, but we find that many followers cooperate instead. Similarly, many leaders do not use cheap talk for cheating but commit to symmetric joint-optimum quantities. The leader’s private payoff information results in a low frequency of cooperation but in the presence of cheap talk players do cooperate.


Cheap talk Stackelberg game Cooperation Experiments Private information 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Systems Analysis LaboratoryAalto University School of ScienceAaltoFinland

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