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Call for papers: New developments in signaling and game theory (14.-19.10.2012)

Call for papers: New Developments in Signaling and Game Theory: Model Building, Empirical Corroborations, and Applications

International Conference at the Congress Centre of ETH Zurich (The Centro Stefano Franscini Situated at Monte Verità)

October 14th to October 19th, 2012

 

Organizers: Andreas Diekmann, Bruno S. Frey, Wojtek Przepiorka, Eckart Voland

 

Why do firms invest large sums in advertisement? Why do students spend great effort on highly selective educational courses? Why do people follow certain dress codes although norm compliance is time-consuming and costly? Why do banks invest in marble entrance halls? Why did the path of evolution lead to the magnificent tail feathers of a peacock although this luxury inhibits the movement of the bird? Signaling theory put forward by economist Michael Spence and biologist Amotz Zahavi provides an answer. Costly signals convey reliable information on an unobserved trait of the sender whereby this information is of importance for both the sender and the receiver. If signals become too cheap they may be faked and, therefore, they will loose their power to convey reliable information. Signaling theory yields an explanation for the paradox of the ubiquity and stability of costly and wasteful activities to be observed in human social life as well as in animal behavior. Game theory supplies a formal language to define signaling theory more precisely. With game models of incomplete information and signaling one can identify conditions that generate a so-called separating signaling equilibrium. Knowing these conditions the researcher can make predictions that have to be verified by field research, experiments or other empirical methods. Signaling theory is now applied in very different fields and disciplines such as economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, psychology and biology. Although applications are often still quite speculative, the principles of signaling theory are well acknowledged in biology and the social sciences. The international and interdisciplinary conference will focus on new developments of signaling theory, model building, applications in the various disciplines, and empirical corroborations of the theory.

We welcome contributions on (but not restricted to) the following topics:

• New developments in signaling theory and model building

• The impact of models from signaling and game theory on the social sciences and biology

• Experimental studies and field experiments based on hypotheses from signaling theory

• Applications of signaling theory in economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, psychology and biology

 

Contributions (title, abstract, manuscript if available) should be submitted no later than January 31st, 2012 to one of the organizers or to Stefan Wehrli (wehrlist@ethz.ch). Please mention whether you apply for a conference presentation or a poster session.

Visit www.socio.ethz.ch/signaling2012

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