Incentive compatibility in sender-receiver stopping games

Aditya Aradhye*, Janos Flesch, Mathias Staudigl, Dries Vermeulen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper / PreprintPreprint


We introduce a model of sender-receiver stopping games, where the state of the world follows an iid--process throughout the game. At each period, the sender observes the current state, and sends a message to the receiver, suggesting either to stop or to continue. The receiver, only seeing the message but not the state, decides either to stop the game, or to continue which takes the game to the next period. The payoff to each player is a function of the state when the receiver quits, with higher states leading to better payoffs. The horizon of the game can be finite or infinite.
We prove existence and uniqueness of responsive (i.e. non-babbling) Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium (PBE) under mild conditions on the game primitives in the case where the players are sufficiently patient. The responsive PBE has a remarkably simple structure, which builds on the identification of an easy-to-implement and compute class of threshold strategies for the sender. With the help of these threshold strategies, we derive simple expressions describing this PBE. It turns out that in this PBE the receiver obediently follows the recommendations of the sender. Hence, surprisingly, the sender alone plays the decisive role, and regardless of the payoff function of the receiver the sender always obtains the best possible payoff for himself.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2020

JEL classifications

  • c73 - "Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games"
  • d82 - "Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design"
  • d83 - "Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief"


  • Sender-receiver games
  • stopping games
  • Bayesian games

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