Workshop on Signaling in Markets, Auctions and Games:
a Multidisciplinary Approach

22-23 May 2019

12 Place du Panthéon, 75005, Paris

The theory of costly signaling — pioneered by Michael Spence (1973) — has been applied in a variety of disciplines. In economics, it has been used to explain, among others, education as a costly signal in the job market (Spence's classical example), dividend payments as a costly signal for a firm's performance (Miller and Rock 1985) and advertising as a costly signal for product quality (Milgrom and Roberts 1986). In biology, models of costly signaling have been used to formalize the handicap principle (Zahavi 1975) — the idea that certain prominent traits, like a prominent tail or elaborate plumage, can come to function as a signal for the fitness of the individual who carries them precisely because they reduce the chances of survival of that individual. In anthropology and sociology, the theory of costly signal has been evoked to account for a number of phenomena, such as certain forms of giving, inefficient foraging strategies, rituals, and embodied handicaps (Bliege Bird and Smith 2005). Form a theoretic point of view, costly-signaling games are an interesting object of study because they typically have multiple equilibria and hence raise the question of equilibrium refinement and selection (Banks and Sobel 1987, Cho and Kreps 1987).

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers of different disciplines to discuss new applications such as signaling in auctions, costly-signaling explanations in the study of langage, and more recent advances related to the problem of equilibrium refinement and selection.


Olivier Bos (Panthéon-Assas University)

Christina Pawlowitsch (Panthéon-Assas University)