Separating equilibrium in quasi-linear signaling games

Jiwoong Lee, Rudolf Muller, Dries Vermeulen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Using a network approach we provide a characterization of a separating equilibrium for standard signaling games where the sender's payoff function is quasi-linear. Given a strategy of the sender, we construct a network where the node set and the length between two nodes are the set of the sender's type and the difference of signaling costs, respectively. Construction of a separating equilibrium is then equivalent to constructing the length between two nodes in the network under the condition that the response of the receiver is a node potential. When the set of the sender's type is a real interval, shortest path lengths are antisymmetric and a node potential is unique up to a constant. A strategy of the sender in a separating equilibrium is characterized by some differential equation with a unique solution. Our results can be readily applied to a broad range of economic situations, such as for example the standard job market signaling model of Spence, a model not captured by earlier papers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1054
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Game Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

JEL classifications

  • c72 - Noncooperative Games
  • d82 - "Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design"


  • signaling game
  • seperating equilibrium
  • Node potential
  • Separating equilibrium
  • Signaling game

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