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Salience, inductive reasoning and the emergence of conventions

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  • Sugden, Robert

Abstract

This paper develops Lewis's theory of conventions to show that the spontaneous emergence of conventions depends on shared conceptions of salience. It offers a reconstruction of a mode of reasoning that is compatible with the emergence of conventions, and argues that such reasoning is pragmatically rational. This is a form of non-Bayesian inductive reasoning in which an individual's private and subjective conceptions of salience can influence the inferences she makes. This mode of reasoning is then shown to be pragmatically rational in a more general sense, relevant to problems of induction discussed in the philosophy of science.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 79 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 35-47

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:79:y:2011:i:1:p:35-47

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Salience; Induction; Convention;

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  1. Hume, David, 1740. "A Treatise of Human Nature (III) Of Morals," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number hume1740.
  2. Ellison, Glenn, 1993. "Learning, Local Interaction, and Coordination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1047-71, September.
  3. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898, August.
  4. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-95, May.
  5. Vincent P. Crawford & Uri Gneezy & Yuval Rottenstreich, 2008. "The Power of Focal Points Is Limited: Even Minute Payoff Asymmetry May Yield Large Coordination Failures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-58, September.
  6. Bacharach, Michael & Stahl, Dale O., 2000. "Variable-Frame Level-n Theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 220-246, August.
  7. Andrew Schotter & Barry Sopher, 2003. "Social Learning and Coordination Conventions in Intergenerational Games: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 498-529, June.
  8. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1998. "On Custom in the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292241.
  9. Nicholas Bardsley & Judith Mehta & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2008. "Explaining Focal Points: Cognitive Hierarchy Theory versus Team Reasoning," Discussion Papers 2008-17, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  10. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1995. "Case-Based Decision Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 605-39, August.
  11. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-50, May.
  12. Boyer, Robert & Orlean, Andre, 1992. "How Do Conventions Evolve?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 165-77, October.
  13. Hume, David, 1739. "A Treatise of Human Nature (II) Of the Passions," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number hume1739a.
  14. Sugden, Robert & Zamarron, Ignacio E., 2006. "Finding the key: The riddle of focal points," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 609-621, October.
  15. Hume, David, 1739. "A Treatise of Human Nature (I) Of the Understanding," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number hume1739.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Federica Alberti & Robert Sugden & Kei Tsutsui, 2011. "Salience as an emergent property," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 11-07, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  2. Pelle Hansen & David Rojo Arjona, 2011. "Prune or cut down: salience and Sugden’s The Economics of Rights, Co-operation and Welfare," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 53-78, March.
  3. Brousseau, Eric & Garrouste, Pierre & Raynaud, Emmanuel, 2011. "Institutional changes: Alternative theories and consequences for institutional design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 3-19, June.
  4. Marco Stimolo, 2012. "Individual autonomy in evolutionary game theory: defending Sugden against Ross’s accusation of eliminativism," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 59(1), pages 67-80, March.
  5. Agnès Festré & Pierre Garrouste, 2012. "The ‘Economics of Attention’: A New Avenue of Research in Cognitive Economics," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-12, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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