Rev. Econ. Design (2017) 21:163–175
Simple versus rich language in disclosure games
· Frédéric Koessler
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published online: 6 July 2017
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
Abstract This paper studies strategic information disclosure when the sender may
not observe the payoff-relevant state, and the receiver may interpret messages naively.
We characterize equilibria as a function of the language available to the sender. The
language is simple if an informed sender can either fully disclose the state or nothing.
The language is rich if he can disclose any closed interval containing the true state.
We show that an informed sender and a strategic receiver get a higher ex-ante equi-
librium payoff when the language is rich. The reverse holds for a naive receiver and
an uninformed sender. Overall, our work suggests that the design of language is key
in situations where disclosure is voluntary.
Keywords Information disclosure · Unravelling · Naive audience · Uninformed
sender · Rich language · Persuasion
JEL Classiﬁcation C72 · D82
We thank Alessandro Ispano, Navin Kartik, Peter Schwardmann and Vasiliki Skreta for helpful
comments. We also thank an associate editor and two anonymous referees for constructive suggestions.
The authors thank the Agence National de la Recherche (ANR-10-LABX-93-01; ANR DynaMITE) for
CNRS, École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
CNRS, Paris School of Economics, Paris, France