The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Coordination Problems and Communication

  • Jack Ochs
Reference work entry


Coordination problems arise when a game has multiple Nash equilibria and all players have a common interest in avoiding a non-equilibrium state. To achieve an equilibrium state, agents must come to understand one another’s intentions. Communication can facilitate this understanding under some, but not all, circumstances. In the absence of communication among agents, coordination may also sometimes be achieved with the aid of extrinsic signals that have come to be associated with the actions of others. In some settings, past actions themselves serve as precedents, without the benefit of any communication.


Cheap talk Communication Coordination equilibrium Coordination problems Extensive form games Nash equilibrium Observability Prisoners’ Dilemma Signalling Sunspot equilibrium 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Ochs
    • 1
  1. 1.