Coordination in an email game without ``almost common knowledge''

The paper presents a variation of the EMAIL Game, originally proposed byRubinstein (American Economic Review, 1989), in which coordination ofthe more rewarding-risky joint course of actions is shown to obtain, evenwhen the relevant game is, at most, ``mutual knowledge.'' In the exampleproposed, a mediator is introduced in such a way that two individualsare symmetrically informed, rather than asymmetrically as in Rubinstein,about the game chosen by nature. As long as the message failure probabilityis sufficiently low, with the upper bound being a function of the gamepayoffs, conditional beliefs in the opponent's actions can allow playersto choose a more rewarding-risky action. The result suggests that, forefficient coordination to obtain, the length of interactive knowledge onthe game, possibly up to ``almost common knowledge,'' does not seem to bea major conceptual issue and that emphasis should be focused instead onthe communication protocol and an appropriate relationship between thereliability of communication channels and the payoffs at stake.
Keywords choice  communication  coordination  efficiency  email  games  information  knowledge  mediation  risk-dominance
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DOI 10.1023/A:1021180407318
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